Laparoscopy experiences??

Discussion in 'Overcoming Infertility' started by MyrtleWarbler, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    In about a month, I'll be having a common "fertility" surgery combination... Hysteroscopy and Laparoscopy.

    The Hysteroscopy is less invasive, because they go in through the cervix. I may have some pain and discomfort from that, depending on how much "remodeling" they have to do inside my uterus. But apparantly the hysteroscopy itself is pretty minor (sometimes it's done without any anasthesia, when it is just being done for diagnosis, not repair also like in my case).

    It's the Laparoscopy that actually involves incisions and some recovery. But I know it's a really common diagnostic procedure, to look for and remove if necessary things like Endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, etc. I think some of you ladies out there have already had it. I also know it's really not very major, but I'd like to hear about your experience... tips to get ready or tips for just after the surgery, length of recovery, etc.


  2. Tempting Toffee

    Tempting Toffee Active Member

    D4A has had a laparoscopy! It helped diagnose her pcos as well as endometriosis. I seem to remember her saying it was painful, but that was most likely the endo making her more sensitive.

    I'm guessing Juls had one as well?


    hehe xxx

  3. renee241

    renee241 New Member

    You can talk to Sapphire too MW. SHe just had Lap a few months ago. I dont think she's checking this site too often right now so you might want to pm her.

  4. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah... reading Sapphire's post that mentioned it is what prompted me to start a new thread (rather than just ask her in that thread), so I'll PM her if she doesn't notice this sometime soon... and I figure Jules has probably had it as well, so hopefully she'll see this. I know it's really not a big deal, but the more I can learn beforehand, the better. The Hysteroscopy is the one I really "need"... but they do the Lap since I'm under anyway just to look around. I have no symptoms of Endo or PCOS, except for not getting pregnant, but my mom had Endo really bad, so it's worth a look!

  5. Alluring-Ash

    Alluring-Ash Super Moderator Staff Member

    Just wanted to drop by and wish you some luck, it's hard waiting on procedures or just waiting in general as it seems thats all we do with TTC waiting to O, Waiting to test , waiting on AF. . . I hope things are speedy for you and not to hormonal with the BCP and all. will be checking in to see how things go with you [​IMG]

  6. Tibby

    Tibby New Member

    MW, l had a lap, dye and hysteroscopy in Jan. They removed a small endometrioma from my ovary and also freed ?sp my ovary as it was adhered to underlying tissue.

    I had my surgery at about 10.30 and was ready to leave the hospital at 12.30! Well ready in there eyes anyway, personally l could have done with a little longer to really wake up.

    The only pain l had was when l initially woke up in recovery and had quite nasty cramps. They gave me some IV Tramol and the cramps went quite quickly. That was the only pain l ever had.

    The worst part for me was the anaesethtic. For the first 3-4 days l was really woozy and slept ALOT. I think this is because l am really small and the GA just knocked me.

    All in all it was fine. Good luck!

  7. Tempting Toffee

    Tempting Toffee Active Member

    MW, let us know how they go. My mum also had bad endo, and I worry I will too, but dr's say I won't have. They can't tell though, until I ttc.

  8. sapphire

    sapphire New Member

    MW, is there anything specific you're worried about with the surgery? Feel free to ask if you do, I know I was worried about some weird things before!

    I know I googled a lot before hand, things like "tips for laproscopy" and such, and found some good ones I wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Like that you should bring warm socks and wear them with the gown they give you (I kept mine on before, during and after surgery). Having a big plastic bag is good for afterwards in the car on the way home as you may be nauseous, and bring a pillow to hold over your stomach in the car too. It helps cushion the seatbelt, and you'll find that any little thing that requires stomach muscles - going over a bump (you do tighten the abs a bit!), around a tight corner, coughing, etc - it all hurts and the best way to deal with that is to bend over and hold a pillow to your stomach to let that do the work for you. Make sure DH has some good books or something to pass the time, you may be awhile. I left DH around 10:30, had surgery begin just after 11:00 (the waiting by myself was hard, I had to be very deliberate in some meditating so as not to start getting panicky about what was about to happen - I was nervous about going under, coming out after, etc. as I had never had any surgery). It's cold waiting there, and you can ask for heated blankets - usually they're for afterwards, but I appreciated them before too! My surgery took around 2 hours even though they anticipated closer to 1. I came to recovery sometime after surgery, not sure how long as I was really out of it from the general anaestetic, and then stayed sleeping most of the afternoon, waking up for a few moments only when the nurse came to check my blood pressure, the incisions (I had 4), and my underwear for bleeding down there. I learned later that my blood pressure took a long time to come back up to normal range (though it was never dangerously low, just took its time getting over the drugs!), so I wasn't with it enough until 6:30ish to start getting ready to leave. They will make you get up and pee before releasing you, but they'll help if you need it - I walked the 10 feet to the bathroom with help from the nurse, she helped me sit down (I still had the IV in my hand and was wheeling that along too), then I chose to push the button for her to come back after I peed because I felt so woozy I didn't trust myself to stand up alone. Yep, certainly left the dignity behind with nurses peeking in my underwear to check for bleeding and helping me off the toilet!!!! But I was so out of it, it really didn't matter.

    What else? The anaestetic worked FAST and I was out pretty quick. You feel something really cold going in the IV and then not much more. The nurses were nice before that, once I was in the operating theatre and not alone in the hallway, talking to me while we waited for the anaestiesiologist (now I KNOW I didn't spell that right!) to keep my mind busy. After going under, the next thing I remember was being in recovery with lots of nurses & people around, and as soon as I opened my eyes a nurse came to my eye level and asked what I felt. I felt cramps, so she checked for bleeding but there was none (I think the cramps were b/c they did an HSG as well), got some more pain meds in the IV, and then I recall feeling nauesous, so she gave me something for that too. I kept coming in and out for quite awhile, even after being wheeled back to day surgery where DH was waiting. I think I cried a little when I first saw him after, but I'm not sure why?! I know someone who came out of the anastetic in tears, though, apparently it's normal for some?

    Oh, I did write down a list of questions that I wanted to ask afterwards. That was really good. Bring them written down with lots of extra paper so DH can ask everything you want and write down all the answers he hears. I was awake when our doctor came to talk with us, but still so out of it, there's no way I would have remembered to ask much of anything, so that was DH's job - to ask and record everything!! Our doctor also wrote down DH's cell number in case he had trouble finding him in the hospital at some point and needed him.

    I managed to eat some chicken noodle soup before going to bed for the night after getting home, and was still woozy til the next day. My appetite came back slowly, more bland foods are obviously best. If you google much about it, you'll read that they pump your belly full of gas at the beginning of the surgery to inflate it, and then obviously they get as much out as possible afterwards before stitching you up. However, it's common for some to still be there, and it travels up to your shoulders and neck and causes pain. This happened to me and was by far the worst bit of recovery. The day after the surgery, I was in so much pain that I couldn't turn my head while lying down - I had to hold my head with both hands and use my arms to turn it. If I wanted to sit up, I needed DH to completely support my head and shoulders and push me up (also can't use your abs, remember!). It was incredibly painful the first day, but it does slowly get better. My mom brought over a heating pad that fits on your neck/shoulders and that helped, but it just takes time.

    Overall, I was pretty weak for nearly a week after surgery. About 3 days after, I felt strong enough to try a walk - around the block once, with DH for support - and it was good but I sure needed to lay down after! Sweats or pajama pants are great too, obviously. I was in jeans and/or dress pants 9 days post-surgery. Sitting upright was the worst position I found, even a week and a half after surgery. I think b/c it squishes everything that was operated on, but laying down and, once I had the strength, standing up, was far better than sitting. When I had to be in a car, I reclined the seat for the first little while and had a sweater or something to protect my tummy from the seatbelt, that helped. You won't want to drive for a week or so - the twisting is no good. Just take it really easy and after a week you'll be mostly back to normal.

    I do believe my recovery was more painful and longer because of the extent of the surgery. Yes, it is a simple procedure, but I had four (small) incisions, a 3cm mass removed from one ovary, a 7cm mass from the other, and all kinds of endo removed from all over my abdomen. All that cutting/burning away takes awhile to heal, and while the pain in my tummy was never too bad in recovery (if I took it easy and didn't do anything to aggravate it!), the pain deep inside was always worse than the pain from incisions. I didn't try to exercise until 3 or 4 weeks after, and then I tried to jog - yep, apparently that uses stomach muscles too, so that was out!! I felt fully back to normal a week and a half to two weeks after, but it was weeks more before I could use my abs for exercise comfortably, but again, that's due to how much work they did in there.

    So make sure you have lots of clean PJ's, a bunch of DVD's and magazines, good comfort food (like the soup, kraft dinner, toast, ginger ale, esp. if you're nauseous), and just be ready to rest and really take it easy for as long as you need! I was told to have a "responsible adult" with me for at least the first 24 hours after getting home too, just in case.

    Is that way more than you wanted, or not at all what you were looking for? Feel free to ask anything at all, and I hope this helped a bit!!

  9. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    sapphire... this is awesome information, thanks so much! You know, I do generally remember when you were going through this, I think. But I think it was before I was ttc or early in the game. I was so out-of-touch with some of the tougher struggles going on around me. I feel kinda bad that I wasn't more in tune at the time, after all you went through!

  10. sapphire

    sapphire New Member

    you're welcome! no worries at all, it's more than understandable that you didn't know all the details earlier - we didn't really "know" each other then and were sort of hovering in different threads!

    And really, if you have any specific questions or concerns, please ask away, no matter what it is. I did forget to mention that the reason they make you pee before leaving the hospital is that they put a catheter up your urinary tract during surgery - you are mercifully knocked out when they insert and remove it, but they do want you to pee to make sure everything is okay before you get to go home! I also got a bladder infection less than 2 weeks later, and it may have been connected or could well have been a coincidence.

    good luck!

  11. Bear

    Bear New Member

    Myrtle Warbler,

    I had a laparoscopy done over a year ago...the worst part for me was the shoulder/neck pain that Sapphire mentioned. The anaesthetist told me that "you will have a little bit of pain in the neck/shoulder"...I think he underestimated it - for me it felt like my head was going to drop off! But, it is not like that for everyone - my friend had one just recently and she had no neck pain whatsoever!

    My experience was actually quite good - I went in and it was supposed to take 1 hour - I was in for 2 hours, the doctor finding severe endometriosis. Anyway, I only had the two incisions - one through the belly button and one underneath it. I came out of the anaesthetic with the pain in the neck for which I had tramal (allergic to codeine, so couldn't have panadeine forte). I slept all that afternoon and most of the next morning (not an easy feat when you have a 3 year old!) and was feeling pretty much my normal self on day 3, although still a bit tender.

    So, have some good pain killing medication like tramal and you should be fine! Oh, and like Sapphire mentioned, a pillow is handy for on your way home as going over bumps is a little uncomfortable. Your bed will be your best friend for the first day afterwards!

    While I don't know your full story, I know you are trying to get pregnant (from the TTC board) - I got pregnant straight away with my first child and tried for a year with my second...4 weeks after my laparoscopy I was finally pregnant with my second...hope it works that way for you too!

    - Tan.

  12. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tan., the first thing I thought when I saw you had replies was "oooh, one of the mommies, that's a good sign!" LOL!

    I posted more about my story in a thread on Uterine Abnormalities. Basically, I'm having the Hyst part of this surgery because we know there are things IN my uterus to fix - septum, adhesion. The Lap is being done "opportunistically" to check for Endo, etc, on the outside. I don't have any typical endo symptoms, but I know you can have it without symptoms, and my mom did have it really bad. Since my uterus problems don't actually explain why I haven't gotten preg (they usually cause miscarriage), I hope they find just a LITTLE something in there to maybe explain it... And then, of course, I hope I end up just like you! Thanks for sharing.

  13. candywannababy

    candywannababy New Member

    Dont have any experience with this procedure but I just wanted to say Good Luck and you're in my thoughts and prayers hun!

  14. Juicy-Juls

    Juicy-Juls Active Member

    Oh hunny I am so sorry...This is the first time I saw this...and forgive me I didn't read the whole thread..

    My Lap went really smoothly..My biggest thing was making myself rest afterwards...I hate being down(as discovered when I ended back in the hosital after my hysto...)

    I dind't have alot of pain afterwards, just tenderness mostly...They put two incissions in me, one in my belly button and another really low(in fact it is now covered by my hysto scar)..Very small like a half inch long...

    Before the Lap, was okay...we waited for what seemed like forever and was done before I knew it...I do remember that after waking up, I was really really groggy..and I felt a big tightness throughout my lower abdomen...

    But as with any surgery hun, take it easy afterwards...Just because it is a small surgery doesn't mean you can't hurt yourself. I learned the hard way after my hysto...ANd be careful of the pain meds...The narcotic pain meds is one of the reasons I landed back in the hospital .....Only take what you need...

    Goodluck sweetie...

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013

  15. Bear

    Bear New Member

    Hey Myrtle,

    I got told my endo was as pretty bad as it could get...and I had what I thought were no symptoms. I used to have my AF for about 10 days though...and I felt like all my bits were about to drop out (so I would run home and have 3 paracetamol at once...can't have anything stronger due to allergies)...but I thought that was normal! Anyway, the lap was worth it as I got pregnant straight after they got all the endo out. As much as I hope you don't have endo, I would rather see you have something like endo which can be fixed, and then you could get pregnant straight away like me!

    Crossing my fingers and toes for you hun!

    - Tan.

  16. Juicy-Juls

    Juicy-Juls Active Member

    The only problem is the lap is a "quick fix" so to speak..I had 2 prior to my hysto and now the doctor thinks it's back. Yes even with no uterus I can still have it,...He thinks it is in my diaphram now...This ought to be fun..

    The lap is going to help for awhile but there is no real fix for it. It doesn't ever go away...Even after my hysto I thought "yay, no more pain"..But alas, that was not the's not as 'bad' as it was, but still there...

    I was told the reason my endo never got any worse is because I was pregnant so much..and no ovulation means less endo forming...To my understanding..I think D (endo wonder woman lol)is the one that could fill you in more on that...

    I tried the quick fixes(2 laps and hysto) instead of following her advice and am still having trouble...

  17. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Juls and Tan... The advice to really take it easy after is probably what I needed the most! As an athlete through college, I have no problem working through pain. So I always have to ask the medical people "Is this the kind of pain that is just annoying, or the kind of pain that tells me I'm making a problem worse?" The doc told me it is the second kind, and that you'd better let it heal right the first time. Sheesh, I know these are tiny incisions, so I was tempted to assume it's no big deal push through the "soreness"! But I don't want them to give me trouble long-term, so I'll heed your advice Juls! I remember your little adventure! My full-time job involves a lot of strenuous outdoor work this time of the year, and twice a week I coach gymnastics, which involves lifting kids. I will have to be careful... and tell the people around me to make sure I'm being careful!!

    As for Endo... At this point, we have no idea at all if I have it. Surgery day will be like Christmas morning, and I have no idea what's under the tree. We do know about the problems inside my uterus, but even those we don't know the full extent. Both are believed to be minor, but significant enough to pose a problem.

    If I do have Endo on top of all that, I guess I'll have a new topic to learn all about, in terms of longer term management, future prognosis, etc. You know, when I learned so much about infertility issues and solutions when I became more active here at AWH, the idea was to be able to *help* other women, not to actually *need* that info for myself!! LOL! Well, I'll cross that Endo bridge if/when I get there ...

  18. sapphire

    sapphire New Member

    Yes, do take it easy!!! They are little incisions, but they go all the way through so your muscles are cut and that takes time. I had 4 incisions b/c of the type of endo they had to remove - one in the belly button for the camera, one over each ovary b/c of the big mass on each one to remove, plus one more to the right of my belly button (?? more endo??). If they actually remove endo, that makes recovery worse b/c all your insides are healing as well as the incisions (and in my experience, that took way longer!).

    If you do have endo, and I hope you don't, of course, we can talk more. I've been on a steep learning curve and it is overwheming with all the dietary/lifestyle stuff suggestions out there. And if it is endo, of course I hope your story is like Bear's, but it's not always the case. They *did* find and treat severe endo in me, and that seemed to be the only thing preventing pregnancy so the odds were supposedly really good soon after (DH is fine too); but that was mid-February and I'm still not pregnant and nobody knows why? Not to scare you at all, I'm sorry, but just to add that side of the story too - you never know.

    Will be thinking of you, and again, I hope I didn't say anything to make it worse!!!

  19. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks again for your input, sapphire.

    Your comment about the incisions got my attention. You're right, they are "small" if you measure them along the surface, but they are kinda "deep" so that makes them longer, in a sense. Make sense? Still more minor than major surgery, but don't let the "small" appearance fool me... Got it.

    I'm not too worried at this point what they'll find, mostly just curious. Worry can come later, lol! I know that cleaning up endo (if it's there) wouldn't necessarily do the trick, and I know that "unexplained" is still a possibility too. I'm just so ready to get it over with!

  20. Bear

    Bear New Member

    Sapphire, I am so sorry about your endo...just makes me want to cry!!!! I so hope something happens for you soon. Yep, I was definitely lucky and for some it is quite hard...I just hope and pray for you that something happens's just not fair is it?

    My mate had one of her ovary's burst with it...I don't know if she can still have kids and we just cried, and cried together...I don't know how else to make her feel better - I guess nothing just makes me feel awful for her, especially when I bring my bubba over and she cuddles him - knowing she possibly can't conceive. How do I comfort her? Any ideas? It's no good me telling her I know how she feels as I don't...Do you have any information on endo and statistics, or is there a website or something that you can direct me to? You sound very knowledgeable and I would love to pass on some information to her.




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