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Recovering From A Laparoscopy

Whether your laparoscopy is a quick procedure or a long one, I’ve found that they can take their toll emotionally and physically. I remember how scared I was with my first lap, even though it was only an investigative procedure to determine whether I had endo or not. Thankfully, I recovered well – and you will too.

My experience

Pain was a reality for me post-lap, mostly around the incision sites, but also from the carbon dioxide gas used throughout the surgery. From this, I experienced shoulder and chest pain, which is fairly common, but it passes. A lap is usually done under general anaesthesia and can take at least a few days to a few weeks to fully recover (depending on the extent of the surgery). Be sure to discuss all of your medications and dietary supplements with your surgeon, as you may need to adjust these a few weeks prior to the procedure.

How I facilitated my recovery

After my last lap, which was a six-hour surgery including a bowel resection, after about five days in hospital, I came home to spend majority of my time resting on the couch. Even though movement is difficult, I found it essential for my recovery. It gets easier over time and I just built it up day-by-day. In hospital, I started incorporating controlled deep breathing (known as pranayama) and gentle stretching to improve my circulation. I even tried to meditate, which is super challenging in hospital, but worth trying. If I had of known about ASMR back when I had my operation, I would have listened to it in hospital because it’s so relaxing; for those of you haven’t heard of ASMR, it stands for Autonomic Sensory Meridian Response. You can easily find it on YouTube; it’s basically just sounds that trigger a relaxation response. ASMR isn’t for everyone, but it works for me.

Post-laparoscopy, it’s really helpful to have a family member or a friend keep you company in the first 24 hours for support. Before your surgery, set expectations with friends and family, make sure they know you need to rest, and if you don’t want visitors, tell them you’re not up to it. Otherwise, it will just be tiring for you; recovery time is about prioritizing your needs.

A healing diet

I’ve found it helps to eat nourishing, easily digestible food (like soups and slow cooked stews) and to drink plenty of water and herbal tea. I avoided sugar and takeaway food, because I figured my body had enough to deal with. During surgery, you’re given medications (such as anesthetic and pain killers_, so giving yourself the right nutrients through healthy food gives your body the best chance at making a speedy recovery.

Eating well and incorporating gentle movement was key to making a successful recovery for me. After a few days, I started going for small walks and doing very gentle yoga at home, just listening to my body meant I didn’t push myself too far. I think meditation helps a lot too, and it’s something I practice daily ever since; it helps with pain and with stress if practiced regularly. Most importantly, though, post-laparoscopy is time to rest and recover, you’re allowed to and you should! I’ve found that self-care is so important during recovery, do what you can to nourish your body, mind, and spirit.

For more self-care tips, check out my blog: The Healing Yogi.

Meredith x

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.