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How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Endometriosis Surgery

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I was diagnosed with endometriosis via emergency laparoscopy surgery in 2016, during which I received excision of the endo, and was told that I would need the surgery again in another two to four years time. Almost like clockwork, two years later, here I am recovering from my second laparoscopy surgery. I was better prepared for this surgery having had it previously, and thought I would share some tips to help those who are going through this process too.

So you have a surgery date, what now?

Preparing for and recovering from surgery can be very stressful, so it is important to take the time to set in place as many things as you can beforehand.

1. Pre-operative appointment. This is your chance to ask any final questions from your surgeon before the big day. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question, so ask anything that comes to mind.

2. Inform work. Let your workplace know how long you expect to be out of office for, and any limitations you might have on return – the more they are aware of your situation, the better they will be able to assist you when the time comes. Of course everyone’s work place is different, and if you don’t feel comfortable doing so then simply make sure you have your doctor’s certificate allocating you time off work ready before you go in for surgery.

3. Put your health first. If you have the energy to exercise, do so! If you’re able to stick to a clean diet, great. The more you can do to take care of your body now and strengthen it, the easier your recovery time will be. Even something as simple as remembering to apply sunscreen before going outside can be the difference between a comfortable or painful recovery.

4. Organize post-operative care. Confirm how you will be getting home post surgery, and set up as much as you can ahead of time. This will make your discharge less stressful and will you mean you won’t have to worry about preparing meals, or setting up your recovery space post surgery.

Day of Surgery

This can be a long and stressful day. Even though I had a set admission time, due to unforeseen circumstances I ended up waiting over two hours before admission. Here is a list of things I brought with me to pass the time both before and after surgery:

1. Phone and charger.

2. Books.

3. Laptop and charger.

4. Flip flops for shower.

5. Slippers.

6. A soft dress and/or nightie. You won’t want to wear pants for a while after surgery.

7. Lip balm. Hospital stays always result in chapped lips for me.

8. Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, dry shampoo, deodorant, etc.

9. Pillow and/or blanket to place between your stomach and the seatbelt during your ride home.

Recovery Time

1. Let your body sleep and rest as much as it needs to. You’ve just been through major surgery, which is a taxing event for your body!

2. Move a little each day. Don’t over do it. Just getting up to brush your teeth, or get a glass of water will make all the difference in how you feel each day.

3. If possible, look at investing in a shower chair. It can be as simple as a plastic stool from your local warehouse – this has made all the difference for me on days where I simply didn’t have the energy to stand for a full shower.

4. Netflix is my best friend. I have stumbled across the gem that is “When Calls the Heart” and I am not ashamed to say I am now a “heartie.”

5. Heat pack and/or hot water bottle.

Above all remember to be gentle with yourself, the pain will come and go in waves – this is normal. Recovery is different for everyone and what works for some might not work for you. These are just a few tips that might help you prepare for your upcoming surgery.

Getty Image by shironosov

Originally published: August 11, 2018
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