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What I Do to Prepare for Endometriosis Surgery

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I was diagnosed with endometriosis via an exploratory laparoscopy surgery in 2011. I then received a six-hour excision surgery in 2013 and recently started volunteering as a support group leader for Endometriosis UK. I am awaiting my third surgery, and remain hopeful that this will improve my symptoms. I am equally excited as I am nervous! 

Hopefully this will be my last surgery in a while (third time’s the charm!) but having been through this twice already, I have devised some useful lists which I thought I would share.

Before Surgery:

  • Research –Be sure to ask your doctor about any concerns. 
  • Make lists – Yes, I have added making lists to this list, but remaining organized can keep you from unnecessary stress.
  • Make practical arrangements – This includes informing your workplace, ensuring child/pet care, making sure someone can look after you during recovery, etc.
  • Socialize (if possible) — Many of my friends may not be able to come visit me during recovery so I am hoping to catch up with them before surgery, so I don’t succumb to cabin fever afterwards.
  • Prepare your skin – I often end up with skin infections around the wound. This time I have made sure to stop fake tanning well in advance (the thought of product buildup near a surgical wound has put me off!) and I am showering in antibacterial soap. 
  • Be healthy – Try to maintain as much of a healthy lifestyle as possible to aid recovery and reduce negative side effects of anesthetic. 
  • Arrange post-op meals – plenty of soft foods and prepped meals that can be quickly heated up.
  • Arrange post-op comforts – Stools softeners, painkillers, clean bedding, comfy PJs, big pants and possibly a bedside sick bowl.
  • Relax — This is easier said than done, but stress will not help your body in the long run. In the week running up to surgery I plan to do lots of yoga and book a facial.

During Surgery:

Essentials to Bring:

  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • Phone and charger
  • Reading material — you may be waiting around
  • Any medications

Overnight Bag:

  • An outfit change — Things may get bloody.
  • Moisturizer — I use a tinted BB cream so I feel like I have some makeup on.
  • Lip balm
  • Body spray — This can be useful to cover up any embarrassing odors, but be considerate to your hospital roomies!
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Dry shampoo
  • Wet wipes — Bring ones that are safe to use on any body part, so there’s no need to bring separate face wipes.
  • Sanitary towels
  • And don’t forget to keep a cushion in the car, to go between your belly and seat belt for the ride home!

After Surgery:

  • DVDs/Netflix subscription — Don’t do what I did and watch the entire “Orange is the New Black” series before surgery.
  • Antibacterial soap, to be used in place of regular shower gel
  • Herbal teas that help with digestion, relaxation and pain
  • Soft food
  • Stool softeners
  • A stool for the toilet — Raising the feet a little can take off added pressure. I just use an old shoe box.
  • A designated driver willing to run errands and take you to your doctor

I hope that helps! Please share your surgery tips!

Editor’s note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

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Originally published: June 24, 2016
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