Don't Underestimate the Impact of Laparoscopy
Last updated: December 2020
A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery usually performed to diagnose or excise endometriosis. Doctors tend to be fairly dismissive about it, but you shouldn’t underestimate the impact this surgery can have. While it’s true that the physical impact of the surgery tends to be minimal, the mental impact should not be dismissed easily.
If the news is good, and the endometriosis is minimal, this can come as a disappointment. Especially when you’ve been in a lot of pain for a long time, getting news that you’re riddled with endometriosis would validate your feelings and your pain. But just because the doctor found fairly little adhesions doesn’t mean your pain is any less real. Small adhesions in the wrong place can cause a lot of pain, and the amount of pain you suffer isn’t directly related to how widespread the endometriosis is.
On the other hand, if the news is bad and the endo is widespread, this can come as a real shock. Particularly if the adhesions are in places the gynecologist can’t reach, or isn’t comfortable excising. It’s one thing to expect a diagnosis, hearing how bad it is can still turn your life upside down. You may have more questions then the doctor is prepared—or able—to answer and you may feel confused and scared.
Receiving an endometriosis diagnosis is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s good to know that the pain and bad periods weren’t all in your head. But on the other hand, you have a chronic disease for which there is no cure. That’s a lot to take in. Take time to come to terms with the diagnosis.
Recovering from anesthetic
Although a laparoscopy isn’t invasive, it still requires you to have anesthetic. Even if the surgery was fairly quick, the anesthetic can linger in your system for a few weeks afterwards. It can make you groggy and tired. It’s not realistic to expect to be back to normal a few days after having had surgery. Especially if you're also still trying to process the news you received from the laparoscopy.
Take time to heal
A laparoscopy can be deceptive. If the doctor has excised endometriosis, you will definitely be in pain on the inside, even if the incisions on the outside heal quickly. The key is to listen to your body and to be kind to yourself. Take rest when you need it, drink lots of water to try and flush the anesthetic out of your system.
Don't worry if you don't feel yourself for a while. Everyone heals from surgery at different speeds and there's no right time within which to feel completely recovered. Talk to your doctor if you need more time off from work to recover, whether it's physically or emotionally. And if you feel overwhelmed with the news you received from the doctor, reach out to others who have experience with endometriosis. Come to this site for advice or for a chat. It's always good to share experiences and who better to share them with than fellow sufferers?
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