10 Tips to Prepare for Post-Endometriosis Excision Surgery
If you have an endometriosis excision surgery scheduled, you will want to make sure your living space is recovery-friendly beforehand. Post-op planning can be stressful, so here’s a few things to help you prepare to come home comfortably:
1. Prepare and Buy Food Beforehand
This one was difficult for me since I stayed in an AirBnB after my surgery. I didn’t have many options for storing food, so we ended up stopping at a restaurant on the way back from the hospital for some broth-based soup. This was not ideal because I was ready to get “home” to lie down, but in the end it worked out just fine. Some women are hungry and others aren’t at all after the surgery, but it’s important to at least get a bit of nourishment in your body so you can begin healing. Regardless, you don’t know how you will feel after your surgery, so it’s best to be prepared. Have some pre-cooked meals waiting for you when you get back, and make sure your fridge and pantry are full of groceries. You might even consider getting groceries delivered by a local grocery delivery service if possible. I ended up doing that on day two of my recovery, and I was able to get a few things that fit in our mini-fridge at the AirBnB. You won’t want to be on your feet for at least a couple of days, so this will be one less thing to stress about for both you and your caretaker.
2. Have Fresh Bedding Ready
Make sure you wash or change your bedding before going in for your procedure. You’ll want to come home to a fresh, clean and comfy resting space.
3. Create a Clean and Peaceful Living Space
If messy rooms stress you out, then this one is for you. Make sure the room you’ll be spending the most time in while you rest is super clean. You don’t want any distractions or extra stress while you’re trying to heal. A peaceful and clean space is vital.
4. Have Necessary Items in Reach
Make sure you have your necessities within reach of your resting space. A few helpful items could be lip balm, a phone charger, prescribed post-surgery meds, water, snacks and various items to help you pass the time while you rest.
5. Gather Your Favorite Pastimes
Resting and staying in bed for a prolonged period of time can become monotonous, so make sure you have a few items in reach to help you stay sane. I would suggest keeping your journal, some books, the remote (duh, Netflix or Hulu!), an adult coloring book and markers, knitting or any other activities that will help you stay relaxed and stress-free.
6. Have Lots of Pillows
Make sure you have a wedge pillow and/or a full-body pillow waiting for you when you get home. The wedge pillow, in my opinion, is more important because it really helps to keep your legs elevated after surgery. Also, not only is it more comfortable, but it also helps keep your blood flowing properly. A full-body pillow can also be extremely helpful if you sleep with a partner. The pillow helps keep a barrier between you and the other person so they don’t accidentally flop over during the night and unintentionally hurt you. Your tummy will be very sensitive, so even the slightest touch can be uncomfortable. The full-body pillow will also help you stay in a comfortable position throughout the night, and will help you feel snug and safe.
7. Use Essential Oils
I used essential oils during my recovery to help me stay grounded, calm and to help me sleep. I can become incredibly anxious when idle, so I needed all the help I could get. Some of my favorites include lavender, cedarwood and chamomile. I also used peppermint on my shoulders because the gas they use to inflate your abdomen during surgery floats up and gets stuck in your shoulders. These gas bubbles can be extremely painful, and peppermint oil can help relieve some of that pain and tension. I would suggest placing a diffuser by your bedside if you don’t like putting oils directly on your body. You can still get some of the same benefits and the diffused oils will help keep the air in your resting place clean and fresh. The calming sounds from the trickling water in the diffuser are another added benefit!
8. Have Comfortable Clothes Ready for the Next Week
This is probably a no-brainer, but maybe not. Make sure you have at least four to five comfortable pairs of sweatpants, leggings or shorts and loose t-shirts washed and ready to go. I know sometimes it’s tempting to stay in the same clothes when you’re just lounging around, but make sure you change into a fresh set of clothes each day. You’ll feel better, and it will help you keep your surgical sites clean.
9. Have Something Soft for the Car Ride Home
To make the ride home a little easier, you’ll want to bring a pillow to hug or place under your seat belt to protect your incisions. I bought one and it was a lifesaver, especially since I traveled six hours for my surgery. The ride home was a lot easier because my seat belt wasn’t rubbing against my incisions the entire time.
10. Keep Your Surgeon’s Number Handy
Make sure you have your surgeon’s after-hours phone number nearby just in case. You will probably be given a 24-hour nurse line number to call if you have questions. You should be given paperwork with that information when you’re discharged from the hospital. Make sure your caretaker is listening and taking notes at the time of discharge, as you will receive post-op instructions you likely won’t remember if you’re still coming off anesthesia. If you have any concerns at all after returning home, you can call the nurse line and get the help you need.
This article originally appeared on Pretty Gusty.
Getty image by KatarzynaBialasiewicz