Recovering from a laparoscopy for endometriosis.

Two weeks ago today I had my laparoscopy at UCLH. The surgery lasted for three hours, during which endometriosis was removed from my ovaries, diaphragm, bowel, pouch of douglas, and peritoneum. In addition, my uterosacral ligaments were removed and my ovaries were unstuck from my uterus and peritoneum, andย  a large number of adhesions were. Overall this is a positive result, and no unexpected complications occurred for which I was at high risk- such as needing a colostomy bag and/or a second surgery to address my more complex areas of endometriosis. In all honesty the most difficult aspect of my admission was being last on the surgical list and having to wait around all day starving and dehydrating my butt off.

My bowel prep the day before was a whole other story though. I wasn’t that stressed about it beforehand, having undertaken one before when I had a colonoscopy. However, my body does love to troll me, so I spent the entire day before my surgery unexpectedly ‘firing from both ends’ (TMI I know- sorry) in my London hotel bathroom while my parents and husband awkwardly pretended not too hear in the bedroom next door. I don’t know what that was about as I was fine the last time I took one. The hilarious/ironic/awful thing was that the bowel prep didn’t even manage to complete itself as I was still going to the loo constantly throughout the next morning, so I ended up having to have an enema too. Life is so cruel!

Since having my surgery I have been approached by a number of people on endometriosis forums asking me to comment on the quality of care I received at UCLH, which is registered as a BGSE specialist centre, but seems to have a somewhat mixed reputation within the endo community. I have decided to write a more detailed post about this at a later point, once I have had my post surgery follow up with my surgeon, so do keep a lookout for that. For now I will say that overall I was pleased with my care throughout my admission and was impressed by how knowledgeable and compassionate my surgical team and nurses were.

I was well enough to do yet another TERRIBLE post-op selfie. Somebody needs to remove my phone when I'm under the influence of morphine.

I was well enough to do yet another TERRIBLE post-op selfie. Somebody needs to remove my phone when I’m under the influence of morphine.

I’m now recovering at home with the support of my husband and parents. Recovery is a tricky business isn’t it? Nobody ever prepares you for that. It is a given that you are going to be anxious when preparing for surgery, and people respond to this with understandable sympathy, but afterwards it seems like everyone expects you to be ‘fixed’, happy, and to just get on with life again.

I have been feeling slightly on edge because I am so desperate for this surgery to have worked to have some quality of life again. It’s weird because I think with most operations you know very quickly afterwards whether it has been a ‘success’ or not, whereas with endometriosis being a cyclical in nature it’s much more of a waiting game to find out whether the surgery has reduced or eliminated your symptoms. I don’t like waiting games, I am fed up with them now. Mr B and I also want to try for a baby soon, so I am beginning to secretly stress about that too. I’m really scared about whether I will be able to. I’ve never walked down infertility road but it looks a scary place to be from what I’ve read and the people I have talked to who have been there.

Being off work gives you a lot more time to think about these things. Too much time perhaps.I’ve been feeling quite flat, like I don’t know what to do with myself now. It’s like a big anti-climax as you spent so much time and energy focusing on and preparing for the surgery and then suddenly it’s all over.

On this plus side, I think I’ve been recovering really well. My scars are teeny tiny and healing well, I’m in little to no pain, and my family and friends have rallied around me this time so I am feeling really supported. I’ve never been good at relaxing and putting myself first, so that’s what I am going to work on over the coming weeks I think. I am also going to take up yoga when I’m well enough again to get this body as healthy and strong as it can be. Things ARE going to be better from now on I can feel it…they have to be.

I’m happy to answer any specific questions about surgery, bowel prep, or UCLH if you have any, or to hear about your ideas and tips for post-surgical coping and recovery.

Love,

Claire

8 thoughts on “Recovering from a laparoscopy for endometriosis.

  1. Hi Claire, I had a similar laparoscopic surgery 2 years ago. My surgery was similarly difficult, but has been successful so far. I remember it took longer to recover than I had expected and it just meant taking it pretty easy for a while. My biggest piece of advice is to be gentle with yourself and take it easy while your body heals. Also, walking. It was great to get outside for some fresh air and little by little taking longer walks. Wishing you well!!

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    • Hey,
      Thanks for your comment about surgery- always interested to hear other people’s experiences and appreciate any words of wisdom. I’m doing my best to take it easy- thanks for the tips about walking! Did you find surgery helped with your fatigue at all? Are you on any hormones/ meds since your surgery? So glad it worked out well for you in the end- this gives me hope!
      Claire
      x

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  2. Thank you for posting this and hope you’re recovering well. I’m glad to hear all went okay for you. I had my lap and cystectomy done in July this year, the right side cyst was removed, however the left one (attached to my bowel) couldn’t be removed.
    My specialist could not do anymore for me but has been an amazing support. I’ve been referred to UCLH with Mr Saridogan, which is due in October. I’m wondering what your waiting time was and how did you feel when going in for your consultation (whoever was seeing you) I’m really nervous about seeing someone new, I’m so used to my specialist and she is always making me feel 100% positive when I leave her office. x

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    • Hi Mae,
      Thanks for your message and the well wishes. I have not seen Mr Saridogan but I know several people who have and I have been told that he is very empathetic, supportive and knowledgeable. I am sure he will be able to give you the advice and help that you need. I had to wait about 12 weeks for my initial appointment at UCLH which seems about average. However, you do seem to be able to get an appointment much more quickly once you are ‘in their system’ so to speak. I hope it all goes well for you. Please do keep in touch and keep me posted on how it all goes!
      Take care,
      Claire
      x

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      • Thank you Claire for your reply ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes I’ve waited for my appointment for around the same time, I’m just hoping the next procedure doesn’t take forever, but it’s good to know things move a bit quicker once you’re seen. I’m relived to hear about the Dr, I couldn’t find anything reviews wise on him and that set me in a bit of a panic!
        Are you recovering well from your surgery? Thanks for all your advice ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Pingback: My fertility is Schrodinger’s cat. | The Endo The World?

  4. Hi I just wanted to say that a week ago I had a full hysterectomy and removal of endometriosis at the UCLH my surgeons were Mr Saridogan and Mr Vashisht and the care I had was wonderful. Not only did they talk me through everything but gave me time to ask any questions. From your first apointment the UCLH nurses give you their email so that you can always ask for advice, priceless. Also all the nursing and support staff were the best I have encountered, so kind and caring this made all the difference to my first few days of recovery. I was seen everyday by one of the doctors/surgeons to discuss how I was feeling, and wasn’t rushed out the door, but told to stay and they would see how I was the next day. This was amazingly refreshing as my local hospital had me out the same day as my surgery! This left me at home and in incredible pain with no one to ask whether this was normal! What I would like to add is that if you have been given an appointment 12 weeks away, it is definately worth ringing every day to see if there have been any cancellations. I did this and was very lucky to have my appointment waiting time halved. This could mean earlier surgery. Best of luck to everyone waiting for surgery. I feel like I’m on the road to recovery and at last can look forward to a more normal life thanks to All at UCLH.

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    • Hi Julie,
      Thanks for this informative comment. I am glad you had a good experience at UCLH- I did too. Really good to hear. Some good advice in here too. Not sure when you had your surgery but hope your recovery has been smooth and that you are feeling the benefit.
      Take care and do keep in touch.
      Best wishes,
      Claire
      x

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