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Endometriosis Laparoscopic surgery

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#1 aluminium

Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:56 PM

Does anyone have experience of having Laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis?

Can you share with me your experiences, and anything useful I might need to know (and presently do not yet know)?

It looks like this is on the cards for me to deal with some pretty severe pelvic pain. I have ovarian cysts and all the symptoms of endometriosis but the OBGYN said that they can only really diagnose (and fix) through laparoscopic surgery.

I have never ever had any kind of surgery or anaesthetic ever before. To say I am anxious about this is an vast understatement. So I am on the quest for more information and anecdotes. I am particularly interested in the procedure, the recovery and the sustainability - like, did your endo reappear soon or a long time after? or not again?

Thanks original.gif

#2 FeralMuddyPuddles

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:49 AM


I had endo laparoscopy about 12 years ago after almost a decade of debilitating pain and misdiagnosis.

The surgery was meant to be about 30mins, but once they got in there they found a whole lot more than what they expected, and the surgery was about 2 hours. it was also a day procedure, and they should have then admitted me due to all the extra work they did cutting and burning, but they still sent me home. I was throwing up from the pain and the anaesthetic, and was unable to move properly for a day or so, and needed help getting in and out of bed

That said, my endo stayed away for a few years, still got period pain but not the type that had me passing out or eating codeine like smarties. I had a few follow ups to check it hadnt progressed to my colon etc as mine was invading all my organs, and about 5 years after surgery i was rushed in for an appendectomy, but when they removed it the appendix was fine apart from the fact that it was riddled with endo and that was what was causing the pain!

I still get period pain, but it is manageable these days. Worth doing in my opinion, but just make sure you have some help to hand and lots of pain killers!

Good luck

#3 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:56 AM

I have had it done twice, the first time was an emergency situation and the endometriosis was not completely removed.

Five years later I had it all again in a day setting and it was fine.

It was done under a general and was day surgery. I woke up in recovery in a lot of pain (screaming) so they had to give me lots of morphine fast. I stayed a bit longer because of that but still went home with lots of pain killers that night.

I was in some pain, like a bad period, for another day or so.

I haven't had any endo since but in the last 4 years I have had 4 pregnancies (2 kids) so it hasn't had much chance to grow.

All the best, I felt a lot better after both surgeries. Xx

#4 Mollyksy

Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:07 AM

I've had three surgeries.  All day surgery.  They found a tonne each time so I was in a bit of discomfort for around two weeks after.  

For the last one, and the biggest one, I should have stayed in overnight but I wanted to go home.

I needed min about a week and a half off the last time for an office job.  But if it was less extensive a surgery, you may get away with less.

I had about 5 years between the first and second and about 8 years to the third op (that was too long).

The surgery did help the pain.  Like a PP, it had invaded my other organs too so they got as much as they could but some remained.  My periods were still a little painful but OTC meds could control it.

In my case, it did eventually grow back.  I think it depends on where it is and if they can get it all.  But I did get some relief in the years between.

These last few years I've been doing IVF and have been having irregular periods so I'm finding it has improved! One small highlight.

All the best.

#5 SuboptimallyPooks

Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:21 AM

I had a lap done 2 years ago, and have not had a major recurrence of symptoms. It did clear up most of my symptoms fairly instantly, and I believe it's the reason I was able to fall pregnant naturally just over a year later.

My symptoms were very painful periods for years, then for about 6 months I was debilitated by pain every day of the month and couldn't work, I was stoned on pain killers and completely disabled by it. However during the lap they only found a small amount of endometriosis. The 'amount' found is not relative to the pain experienced. It can also depend on things like the location of the endometriosis. Sometimes people have no symptoms and during exploratory laps for fertility reasons they find heaps. So be prepared for that.

The surgery is pretty short, sweet and simple. My experience was that I was asked to strip down and put on a gown, cap and paper undies! I was put into a bed, wheeled into theatre and put under a general. I find that positive visualisation helps as it's quite a surreal environment.

When I woke I felt very groggy. You can be quite sore anywhere from your bottom up to your shoulders due to the gas they use in your abdomen during the procedure.

Try to get someone to explain clearly what was found and where. Maybe get a support person to be there for the conversation in case you're a bit groggy and can't remember it all later.

I suggest you take some water and pillows for the car ride home.

Be prepared for needing to lay down for a couple of days. For me, this was the only thing that prevented the referred pain in the shoulders from the gas.

Be careful sitting up and getting out of bed. Take it very slowly and gently moving about until you get used to what movements are more comfortable.

I suggest taking pain killers, as well as something to prevent constipation- I took coloxyl. The combination of laying down, having the general and painkillers, can bind you up and you really don't need that at that time.

Try and see if someone can help you with meals for the first couple of days.

Good luck with it all!

#6 leebec

Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:32 AM

I had my Lap done a month ago today.

I had to force my FS to check for endo so he did the CA125 marker in bloods and then agreed. This was after 2 fresh & 1 FET failed cycles. I never had any endo symptoms. Occassionally bad cramps before AF but nothing - my mum had severe stage 4 endo and had a hysterectomy at 32.

He gave us the costing list for the different stages of endo and surgery he would have to do and we had to pay $1200 before he did the surgery (2 days between appt & operation).

I was under GA for 2hrs as he found more in there then he was expecting. I had endo on my right ovary, under my uterus and on my bladder. He also found I have a completely blocked right tube so was trying to sort that out but didnt have any luck.

When I woke up I was in all sorts of hell with pain. They ended up giving me morphine which turned out to be a bad idea. That made me worse. I was dizzy, hallucinating and throwing up. At about 2pm (so after 3hrs) they tried to get me to have a drink & something to eat.....bad idea....that was when the vile vomiting started. I threw up for hrs. At about 4pm one of the nurses (who I had been to school with and I had seen a few times as this was also were my EPU was done) looked and me and suggested I stay overnight. I had already thought to ask that as the thought of getting out of that bed to get dressed was not something I wanted to do.

So I was admitted to the hospital for the night. My mum & DH showed up and i still felt bad. Again I kept throwing up. I guess about 30 mins after they went home I got up they changed the bed, I went to the loo and put on my own pjs and felt a bit better. I would say the effects of the morphine wore off about 9pm so 10 hrs after I was given it. I was given some water & jelly to try and it seemed to be ok to keep down.

My right shoulder also bugged me, not a lot but was a bit sore from the air they pump into you.

Going home I pretty much laid low for 3 days (i came home on a Friday). It was painful to move around and getting comfy to sleep was a pain, i ended up sleeping with a pillow under my tummy. I went back to work on the Monday but probably should have waited till the Wednesday but having been off the week before for the entire week due to a melt down waiting for my results I couldnt have the extra time off.

If they give you pain killers to take, take them. Perhaps aim to have a few days after the surgery of laying low and not doing anything.

#7 bessiejenny

Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:24 AM

I have a very long and complex history of endometriosis. I am an 'older' lady now but I hope my experience may help, especially those struggling to conceive. I had the first symptoms of endo at age 18 and was not diagnosed til age 24. I had married at age 22 and was keen to have children asap. My first laparoscopy and diathermy showed serious stage 4 endo, so a full laparotomy followed. The endo progressed and I was in a bad way. Over the years I have had 7 laparotomies and countless laparoscopys. To cut a very long and detailed story short, I conceived naturally - shortly after a major operation at age 30 at which I had a sigmoid colectomy [removal of part of the bowel] a tube, ovary and appendix removed, a utero suspension and removal of a huge chocolate cyst [common with severe endo...a sac of dried blood]. I was devastated to miscarry after all those years of surgery and trying. Within 2 months I was pregnant again and hospitalised due to bleeding, which persisted til about 12 weeks. I went on to have a beautiful baby girl. Amazingly, I conceived the first time I ovulated post birth and produced another healthy daughter 13 months later. Note, I had been fully breastfeeding the first baby. After the second baby the endo flared and I was again in severe pain. At age 34 I threw in the towel and had a hysterectomy. The surgeon said that 'there was no explanation in medical science for how I conceived as my one tube was tied down with adhesions and the ovary was tied down a long way from the tube! I kept my 1 remaining ovary to avoid hormone therapy. Within 2 years I was back in surgery to remove the ovary and all of the surrounding endo. That should have been the end of it. But no. Five yars later I had crippling abdominal pain. During surgery it was found that an 'ovarian segment' had implanted in the bowel wall..it was ovulating and surrounded by endo. I then had microscopic endo for years. Now I still have chronic pain due to fibrosis of the scar tissue, but it is well managed by a great Melbourne pain specialist. Lessons? Everyone's endo is different. But do not give up on having children. I was rewarded due to my persistence. I was the first person in Australia to take Danazol. It helped. I have had a very successful and busy legal career and I have totally loved being mother to two daughters of whom I am ridiculously proud. Endo is a journey. It can be managed. Do not let it manage you. Live your life to the full.

Edited by bessiejenny, 15 March 2012 - 10:25 AM.

#8 Butterfly*77

Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:59 AM

You need to definitely ensure that you take at least a week off to recover as you will need to lay down for a few days afterwards (not like me who had to return to work the day after and ended up with a bad infection). Actual surgery is not too bad but the recovery is tough.

Like the PP said, everyone's experience is different but you need to know that it's a not a quick recovery period.

#9 FeralMinx

Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

I have had a few laperoscopies for endometriosis and related general abdominal disease.  General abdominal Pain, sciatica (severe hip, bum and leg pain), menstrual/cyclical pain, heavy bleeding, irregular periods, anovulation, secondary sub fertility, recurring ovarian cysts, uterine cysts etc being issues I have suffered over the years).

I had my first few surgeries with one ob/gyn, and my last one (5 years ago) with another.  My last surgery was the one that FINALLY helped me long term and I will explain why in a moment.

The actual surgery is usually minor and fast recovery.  In order to get the BEST relief from symptoms, concurrently with the surgery, getting your uterus scraped helps immensely.  Also, using an excellent higher dose anti inflammatory (presecibed) also helps.  And getting a mirena device inserted at the time of the surgery, ie when the uterus has just been scraped, helps the benefits last longer.  Thats why after 15 years of increasingly chronic pain and eventual disability with hormonal/inflammatory/endometriosis type conditions, I have been relatively stable after my last surgery.

In some earlier surgeries, I had already recognised that I had longer lasting results when my uterus was scraped.  But it was the addition of a mirena device at the time the uterus was scraped (and any active endo was lasered via the laperoscopy) that gave long lasting results.

I was scared of the mirena because 1) In my young years I had adverse reactions to oral contraception and 2) after the birth of my first child I had a depo-provera injection which made me incredibly ill and recovery was LONG.   the mirena device has similar ingredient to depo-provera shots, hence my fear.

However, because my uterus was scraped and the laperoscopy tidied up my abdomin, at the point the mirena was inserted, And because the majority of the mirena medicine is release at the correct 'site' in the body (my uterus) it did absolute wonders for preventing a recurrence of abdominal pain and a rebuilding up of endometriosis.

I have been relatively stable for 5 years and relatively painfree after many years of increasing pain and incapacitation, after my 'new' ob/gyn followed the above course of action.  Any breakthrough periods of pain/sciatica, respond very well to short term high dose anti inflammatory therapy.  Hope this helps.

#10 aluminium

Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:18 PM

Thanks everyone for the great replies. original.gif

I'm still really unsure what to do but I am so glad you were all honest about the recovery as the gyno really played down the whole thing!

I am still not convinced I actually have endo - although I have the symptoms, they only began after I had my children. And, I fell pregnant without any fertility issues whatsoever...

The thing that drove me to the gyno was that it started to hurt to have intercourse - so because of that, I thought I should really do something about it! (my poor patient DH!)

leebec, my dr is checking for the CA125 marker (get bloodwork done tomorrow).

I have so much thinking to do....

#11 FreeRangeMum

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:23 PM

I had my lap to diagnose and remove endo back in 2006... I was having excruciating period pain and thankfully my Dr took it seriously and referred me on to a gyno straight away.... The procedure itself was pretty straight forward, it was day surgery and I went in at about midday. From memory I had my period at the time which was akward because I had to wear the hospital undies and this bloody massive maternity pad... Anyway I struggled a bit in recovery with a racing heart so I think I was in recovery for about 4 hours.... The dr came around and told me that I did have endo in about 5 areas and they'd managed to remove it all and insert a mirena... My recovery was ok I guess.... I felt really nauseated that night and had bad shoulder tip pain (was told to expect this).... Downside was that I got severe heartburn from the anti-inflammatories which knocked me around for a few days......I felt pretty rough for about a week.....

Good luck!!!

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