Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure often used for the diagnosis of endometriosis and the removal of endometrial tissue.
If your doctor believes surgery to be necessary, this is the first means. A laparoscopy is a surgery that involves a laparoscope, or a small viewing tool that goes into the abdominal cavity through a small incision. The surgeon will use this tool along with other instruments to remove endometrial growth outside the uterus. Many women with endometriosis receive this surgery. In my practice, I have never seen a woman who received this surgery and didn’t get worse again afterwards. Many women have this surgery several times, and if relief isn’t seen, the doctor may opt for a hysterectomy.
The surgeon often orders a bowel prep the evening before surgery. The process varies, but usually includes a liquid diet and various preparations to evacuate your bowels. This is not a pleasant process, but it is necessary if any bowel work is anticipated.
Follow all of your doctor’s recommendations for preparation. They may ask that you not eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours (sometimes longer) before surgery.
Usually this procedure is day only, but you may want to pack an overnight bag in case of complications.
Laparoscopy is usually done under general anaesthesia. At the start of the operation, the bladder is emptied. A fine needle is then inserted inside the belly button and the abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide gas lifts the tummy wall away from the bowel to make introduction of the laparoscope safer. Two other small (approximately 1cm) cuts (incisions) may be made, usually one just inside the belly button and one on the bikini line for an instrument to assist with visualising the organs. A careful inspection is made of the womb (uterus), ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, bladder and all surrounding areas and a record of the severity of the disease is made by either drawing, photographs or video.
Diagnosis and treatment (removal of endometrial tissue) of endometriosis may take place during the same procedure. Your surgeon may also remove the lesions to send to a lab for biopsy. This will document the presence or absence of endometriosis.
First Period After Surgery
Every woman has a different experience of menstruation after surgery. If your period is more painful, longer, or heavier than usual, don’t panic. Internal healing takes much longer than external healing. Therefore, your first few periods may be more painful or uncomfortable. However, if you are concerned about the degree of pain, or if your pain is severe, contact your doctor immediately.
Pain and Incision Healing
Many women experience shoulder pain after surgery due to the gas used during the procedure. Remedy this with my suggestions at the bottom of this post.
Your doctor may restrict driving for two weeks following surgery. Sexual intercourse, tub bathing, douching, and swimming and other activities are usually restricted. During the first few days you will most likely be exhausted and have to nap frequently. Don’t worry- this is your body healing. Take the time you need to properly rest and recuperate. You may heal quicker if you don’t move around much.
You may also experience a period of emotional ups and downs following surgery which may remain for several weeks. It’s not unusual to cry easily or become anxious, agitated, frightened, or suspicious. Some women have experienced nightmares following surgery. All of this will pass in time and you will begin to feel in control again. Be gentle and patient with yourself during your physical and emotional recovery. Having a supportive family or friends to help out will also reduce these fears.
Healing from Surgery Holistically
Before your surgery, find a bottle of natural digestive enzymes specifically for gas reduction. During your surgery, a lot of gas was pumped into your abdomen. This often causes shoulder, neck and other pain. Reduce this by reducing gas with enzymes. Try the GasStop product by Renew Life. Take as directed. Take on an empty stomach.
This fat soluble vitamin promotes tissue healing. Try the A-mulsion drops from Genestra. Take 3 drops daily for 25 days or until the bottle is gone. Or, find another Vitamin A supplement with similar dosage. Take with meals.
Vitamin E helps to reduce scar formation. Vitamin E is also a blood thinner, so beware of this if you are on blood thinning medications like Warfarin. Try the E-mulsion from Genestra. Take 1 capsule daily. Do not begin this supplement until 1 week post-op. Use the whole 60-day supply. Or find a product with similar dosage.
Vitamin C also promotes tissue healing. Take this away from meals, preferably in a powder form mixed in water. I like the Scorbatate powder from Genestra. Take 1/4 tsp of this powder in 1 cup water 3 times daily. Use the whole container.
Zinc promotes tissue healing like the above vitamins. Aim for 15-30mg of zinc per day. You will know you’ve taken too much zinc if you start to have a metallic taste in your mouth.
DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and does not serve as medical advice. None of the information contained in this article is meant to diagnose or treat any disease, symptom or condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical condition, consult your health care practitioner.