Has Anyone Ever Had A Laparoscopy?

It’s something I may be facing, and I’d like to get some stories of personal experience.

I have endometriosis, and it’s getting worse. My doctor and I discussed my options, which were pretty much limited to having the laparoscopy done, and burning off the endometrial cysts with a laser. She said recovery time would be about a week, but that it wasn’t “as bad” as surgery.

Really, what’s it like? Am I facing a LOT of pain? I know she may have to move my organs around a bit, which, from what I’ve heard, is very uncomfortable afterward in of itself.

If I decide to go through with it, I’m going to go in with my husband and have a good talk with her beforehand. Can you guys think of any questions I should be sure to ask?

Thanks in advance.

My wife is in pretty much the same boat as you are. While she has not yet had the surgery, there is a stong likelyhood it’s in her future.

Her advice: Go to Fertility Friend. Once there, go to the “Circles” area (under “Community” in the upper left) and ask your questions there. The board is populated with women dealing with fertility issues, and many have had laparoscopies performed.

From what I’m aware, there is no real “moving around of the insides”. They make a pair of slits into which the camera and laser are inserted. It’s supposed to be a fairly easy procedure.

Good luck to you.

Had my tubes tied laparascopically. The operation was uneventful and done on an outpatient basis. IIRC I was there for about 4 hours afterwards, but I recover very quickly=)

There was pain on the drive home from the gas used to insuflate the abdomen hitting the nerves on the underside of the diaphragm, sort of felt like someone trying to pry my shoulderblades up with a butterknife, but on the whole tolerable. The 2 sites [one just in the rim of my navel, and one lower on my mons veneris] were a bit tender to touch for a few days, and there was some abdominal discomfort, from the rumamging about that they did. Nothing was particularly bad [keeping in mind I have a fairly high pain threshold, and good chronic pain tolerance] and I was able to be comfortable with an occasional motrin 800, though stronger meds were offered and the script taken home - YMMV. If you need pain killers, use them and be comfortable! You will heal better if you are comfortable. Avoid lifting or heavy movements for a week or so, simple good sense precaution as you will have a fairly invasive procedure done=) and you body does need to heal=) I would recommend very light foods for the first few days - preferably smaller meals 5 or 6 times a day, and plenty of liquids.

I had one when I was 3 months pregnant. I was terrified, but it turned out to be no big deal. No major pain either, I just felt kind of crummy for about a day.

I had a lap chole (gall bladder removal). The pain was mild, mainly when I laughed. Yeah, they fill you full of gas to visualize inside and that can be a problem for some. It was more soreness than actual pain, and it only lasted a day or so. I made sure to get active as soon as possible afterward, I think that helped. And be sure to deep breathe and cough to get rid of the anesthesia.
(spoken like a true home health nurse)

Last year I had an ovary and tube removed by laparoscopy. I had a small horizontal incision on the pubis, a very small incision in the umblicus, and two more very small incisions to the left and right of that. The pain from those is minor and easily controlled by painkillers that you will be given.
The worst part for me was the air that’s trapped inside afterwards. That does make your shoulders hurt, not to mention very embarassing noises even when you just go pee, for a few days.
You’ll most likely have a general anesthetic, so at least you’ll be asleep for it.
Don’t worry, it’s not so bad. I even took my kids trick-or-treating just 4 days later.

About 3 years ago Mrs eNiGma had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removing the gall bladder through a small hole). It was done on an outpatient basis and she was in the OR for around 3 hours. Four incisions were made, one at the navel and the others scattered around the upper right abdomen. They ballooned her with C02 so as to give more room to see and work. They of course use a camera, a light and then the actual instruments they use for the surgery.

She recooped very quickly, and had some first rate body belches for the first few days. I was amused, she wasn’t. The CO2 goes in through one hole, but seems to come out through any available orifice. Interestingly, she got some pain moving up through her shoulder because of the CO2. The doctor usually tells you to not lift anything very heavy for a couple of weeks in order to let the internal stitches, not the external, heal.

All in all, it was not half as bad as traditional surgery. You’ll do great.

All the best!

Mine was for gall bladder removal and was a piece of cake. I think I went home the same day. No pain. Another friend had some discomfort in the shoulder from the same surgery.

This is nothing like the pain of regular abdominal surgery. Thank your lucky stars that this is available to you. (Tell your doctor you want a copy of the tape.)

I’m glad that someone mentioned that they blow you up with gas. I had wondered why I looked so bloated, but just assumed that that was how I looked at that particular period in my life!

You are going to be just fine.

I have had this very surgery, for the same thing.

The specialist I saw told me afterward that endo is indeed a very odd condition in his experience. He said he frequently sees women who present the worst symptoms and then when he sees inside there really isn’t that much in evidence. Conversely, he said, he often saw women who really didn’t present the worst symptoms and when he got in there it was everywhere. He then went on to say, that I had one of the worst cases he’d seen and he’s done thousands of these things. My symptoms were clearly bad enough to end up at a surgeons but really not horrendous as some I’ve heard.

In fact he did it twice for me. When I had it done the first time, he explained that it wouldn’t last forever. And sure enough, exactly as he predicted, 7 yrs later, my symptoms returned and I went back and had another with the same success.

What you’ve been told about the recovery is very accurate by me. It’s very quick and easy for surgery.

This may be TMI but when I had this surgery I was admited in the early morning, put into a robe and bed, then moved onto a gurney and moved out into the hall, finally moved again to just outside the surgery suite, then into the suite. There was a woman coming out the other way, on the next gurney, she was moaning a little, just coming around. And the nursing staff keeps coming over and asking me if I have any pain? I am very confused by this, why should I have pain? They haven’t done anything yet! Next don’t they move me back out into the hall and then back to the recovery area and my waiting husband, swinging the curtain around our little cubicle.

My first words to my husband were, with shock in my voice, I tell him they’ve made a mistake and gotten things confused and shuffled me back out before they actually did anything. All the while I’m pulling at the covers and robes trying to get down to my belly to see for myself.

Imagine my surprise to see one tiny little curad over my navel. My husband said the look on my face was priceless. I repeated the story for a couple of days to anyone who would listen - it was so real to me. Drugs sure are funny things.

But back to the useful information. I recovered quickly, yakked once but that was the tylenol 3, I stopped them and just used extra strength tylenol and I was good to go, I shuffled around the first couple of days but that’s the worst I recall, it was day surgery both times I had it.

Relax, it should be a breeze. If you have anymore questions don’t hesitate to ask me. And best wishes be with you.

“not as bad as surgery” I’d say that’s putting it mildly. If you’ve got a pretty good pain threshold it’ll be piece of cake. If not, then it is definitely better than the pain of surgery.
Just be aware of your doctor’s skills. I’ve had it done. My wife had it done and my mom has had it done. Each for various reasons. My wife’s was similar to yours. Eventually did a full hysterectomy. However, mom lost an ovary because the “surgeon” accidently tore the membrane attaching the ovary. She’s in her 60’s and they were looking for cancer, to no avail. No real pain or serious complications occurred in any of the procedures as a result of the laparoscopy. I think I’d rather deal with that than a dentist.

good luck :slight_smile:

I had an exploratory laparoscopy over a decade ago to check for endometriosis (turned up negative), and it wasn’t that big of a deal. I ended up with two small incisions, one in my navel and one over the pubic bone or close to there - well under the “panty/bikini line” for most. You can’t see the latter scar any longer, and the former mostly looks like just part of the navel unless you peer really closely.

The first night was fine, but the pain kicked in the next day. Even so, it was pretty minor compared to bad menstrual cramps. Just watch out when you sneeze or laugh - you’ll feel like your guts are going to come out, or at least I did. Compared to the tiny size of the scars, you’ll take a little longer to heal than you might expect, but it is a breeze compared to major surgery. I gather that if they do anything inside you’ll feel more discomfort, but they should be giving you a decent painkiller for the post-op recovery and healing period.

I have only a vague memory of what mine was called, but the surgury involved wrapping the upper third of my stomach around the bottom part of my esophagus (The bottom of my esophagus was no sphincter. Same with Dad, same with my boy–what a fine legacy).

When I woke up on my back in a horspital bed I was not comfortable. I wanted to go home. She told me I cgo home when I could get up and walk around. 15 minutes later I wandered down the hall to the nurse’s station where she was doing something that doctors are prone to do but which mystefies the rest of us. By her response I think she wasn’t ready to see me up and about less than an hour after waking up. But I actually felt alright.

For a day or so I felt a little like I’d been hit in the belly–kind of a persistent low grade dull ache. But even at that it was a vast improvement over the discomfort I was experiencing before surgury.

“She” is of course my surgeon. She also removed the part of my brain that allows one to type clear posts. :smack:

All in all, it’s not that bad.

I have a small scar in my belly button and two for the scopes on the sides of my tummy. It was a pretty painless recovery from those - a little weird because it takes a while for nerves to heal.

Good luck with your upcoming procedure…

Yup, I had my gallbladder out by laparoscopy. It’s relatively non-invasive. The type of pain you have afterwards will be different than mine, though. It was sore in the way it would be if you got socked in the stomach. It wasn’t excruciating. Just be careful sitting up, lying down, turning or twisting - anything that involves stomach muscles. That’s when you really feel it.

I have 3 small scars, two on my lower abdomen and one just above my belly button. The two former have almost disappeared completely. I’d say it took them a couple years to fade from red to nearly white. The one above my belly button actually changed the shape of my belly button, though. It flattened and widened it slightly, and the scar itself is puckered, so it almost looks like an extra belly button. But that’s the only scar that’s really visible. Good luck!

I’ve had three laparoscopies for endo, and it’s not too bad. The worst is the pain in the shoulder cavity from the gas, other than that the abdominal incisions heal very quickly. All of my incisions were tiny and they have healed up so well that they aren’t even visible.

You had a laparoscopic fundoplication. And so did I, not quite four years ago.

Back then, at least, it was an inpatient procedure with an overnight stay. About 15 hours after the surgery, I was chasing after the surgeon and asking if I could go home so I could get some rest. (Why is it impossible to get any rest at a hospital?)

It was an overnight success - I literally went from chomping fistfulls of Tums every 30 minutes or so to needing none overnight. And, being able to stop the Prilosec/Prevacid/whatever meds. I think I’ve needed antacids maybe three times since then.

Deep ache in my neck and shoulders the night of surgery? Check. Gone in about a day? Check.

Felt like I’d been “worked on” but no actual pain? Yup.

Worlds better than the old style fundoplications where you were split open from sternum to navel and faced with about a week in the hospital. Thank my surgeon. Apparently, he was involved with refining the laproscopic technique.

It’s been over twenty years ago, but I also had an exploratory laparoscopy, on account of endometriosis. It wasn’t so bad, and I have the same two teeny incisions that others have described. It was the later surgery that was painful for me, I ended up having my left tube and ovary out.

But surgical techniques keep evolving, I’ll bet even what I had is vastly improved, with less discomfort or pain. Like others have said, quiz your doctor, and learn all you can. Good luck!

I just had laparoscopic surgery done on my stomach. I was on the table 7 hours. I was up and walking the next day with relatively little pain. I was back to work within 10 days. I still get fatigued rather easily, but that may be more related to the replumbing that they did on my stomach.

Compared to last year’s surgery for the same thing, this was amazing. Last year was full invasive. I was out of work for months and had a lot of pain.

No surgery is fun, but I think you are in for a pleasant surprise - if it is like mine, it will not be a bad experience.

Sending good thoughts and stuff your way.

I had my gall bladder out that way this past February.

As a man with diminished balance and motor skills because of MS I was able to recuperate just fine and went out grocery shopping alone five days later.