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Complex Endo surgery vs Diagnostic laparoscopy - is there much difference in recovery time?

(8 Posts)
UnGoogleable Sat 05-Mar-16 12:04:15

I had a lap last year to drain an ovarian cyst, and diagnose severe endometriosis. My recovery was good, I felt ok after a week, and fine after 2. I was back in work by week 3.

Now I'm due another laparoscopy to excise the endo, fully remove the cyst (which grew back 3 months after the first lap) and remove the extensive adhesions which have caused a frozen pelvis. I also have a bowel stricture, so the surgery will involve removing adhesions and possibly some endo on my bowel too.

I'm told that the surgery is 'complex', requires a multi-disciplinary team (i.e. an endo specialist and a bowel surgeon), and will take around 5 hours, whereas my first lap was over in less than an hour.

My question is, will I feel much different to how I did after the first lap? I will have to stay in hospital overnight, whereas the first time I came home the same day. I guess I'll feel more knocked out after a 5 hour surgery than a 1 hour one. But in terms of my recovery after those first few days - will it be similar to the first time, or will everything hurt more / be weaker?? Will I be off work longer?

I have no idea what to expect, so if anyone has any experience of comparing a diagnostic lap to full surgery I'd be really keen to hear about it.

MountainDweller Sat 05-Mar-16 23:58:02

I haven't had a purely diagnostic lap but had two treatment laps and I would say be prepared to feel worse than last time. Everyone is different of course but it sounds like you are having a lot done. Plus as you say you will be under an anesthetic for longer so you'll need longer to get over that too. You'll probably be fine to potter round at home - you shouldn't need bed rest after the first couple of days or so but I would recommend at least three or four weeks off work. Internal healing can take up to three months. After my first lap (which was minor compared to what you are having done) I struggled going back to work after two weeks. I took longer after the second (more complex). The worst things for me we're going from a lying to sitting position as pelvic muscles were all sore, and siting (lots of recto-vaginal/cervical deposits). Make sure you keep painkillers topped up. I hope it goes well for you. Happy to try to answer any other questions you have!

UnGoogleable Sun 06-Mar-16 12:04:21

Thank you Mountain

It's interesting to hear that took longer to recover after the more complex lap, that makes sense. I too struggled with getting up from a lying position, I had to get my Mum to come and show me how to do it because I just couldn't figure it out! In the end I worked out how to roll onto my side first, then push myself up with my arms, rather than use my abdominal muscles.

Last time I was really good with keeping my painkillers constantly up to date, and I really didn't suffer much pain at all. I'll definitely be doing the same this time.

What did you have done with your lap then, did you have excision?

Titsywoo Sun 06-Mar-16 12:49:26

Following this thread as I need to have the exact same operation but have been putting it off due to not being in pain and needing to lose weight as my BMI is 35. Can I ask who is doing your op?

UnGoogleable Sun 06-Mar-16 14:53:09

Oh Titsywoo you poor thing. Yeah I spose I wouldn't be pushing ahead with my op if it werent for the chronic pain and more importantly I'm ttc and it's never going to work until we sort out the frozen pelvis issue.

I've PMed you
x

MountainDweller Sun 06-Mar-16 23:51:41

Yes I had excision. The first lap I just had some lasering done in pouch of Douglas and on uterosacral ligaments. Surgeon swore he had got it all but I was still in pain and eventually researched and found a private specialist. He didn't find much active endo - I was on the pill continuously between surgeries which I guess kept it at bay. But he did find and excise a lot of scar tissue from old endo, especially in a hard to reach spot behind my cervix.

I do hope it goes well for you. It is a horrible condition.

UnGoogleable Mon 07-Mar-16 22:41:44

Do you still have pain Mountain or has the surgery helped with that?

So I'm thinking that I'll be on bed rest for a day or two (in hospital and the day or so after I come home - actually I do sofa rest because I have dogs and I want to be downstairs with them!) and then I'll be able to potter around.

Sounds pretty similar to how I was last time. The only difference I guess then is how quickly I'll feel able to go to work. I work in an office, but last time the thought of putting on trousers instead of my jogging pants, or driving a car, or sitting up for 8 hours were just unthinkable for the first 2 weeks.

Bichonsrock Fri 11-Mar-16 16:49:35

Hi I've had a purely diagnostic lap and then a very complex surgery for stage 4 endo which involved cyst removal and bowel endo being removed plus large nodules removed from pouch of Douglas.
After the diagnostic lap I was walking to get the children from school after 1 week. Following the major surgery I was housebound for a full 2 weeks, drove after 4 weeks and still needing an afternoon nap after 6 weeks! My friend recovered quicker after a hysterectomy!
There is a lot involved in these types of surgery, I wasn't prepared! It was worth it though as still pain free 2 years on. Good luck x

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