Laparoscopy Experience: Patient Perspective of ‘Going Under the Knife’

February 25, 2008 at 7:49 pm 4 comments

On Friday I had a laparoscopy. When I was researching what’s involved with this procedure I didn’t find a lot of details from a patient perspective so thought I’d sum up my experience. It might get a bit lengthy and I won’t be offended if you click away to something more interesting…like what Nicole Kidman was wearing at the oscars last night 😉

The result was 4 spots of endometriosis removed. I’m frustrated because I won’t know until our follow up appointment next Monday if they are large, small, or to what extent they might have been impacting our ability to conceive.

On Friday morning hubby and I arrived at the hospital at 7am. I was taken away to prepare for surgery. Once I was in a gown, hooked up to an IV, and resting comfortably in a bed the nurse brought in hubby so he could sit with me until they took me in to the OR. Getting wheeled into the operating room was very intimidating. I’ve never been through anything like this and I couldn’t believe all the people involved: 3 nurses, my doctor, a resident doctor, and 2 anesthesiologists.

Just outside the OR the main anesthesiologist asked me a bunch of questions. Both he and the nurse who set me up on the IV had never heard of metformin being used to treat PCOS. They were both asking so many questions about my blood sugar that I finally said “I don’t have diabetes, I take metformin for polycystic ovaries”. They were surprised to hear this.

I was really relieved to hear my own doc’s voice as she arrived. Something about hearing a familiar voice that helped put me at ease. As we entered the OR I was again intimidated by all the equipment. Lots of bright lights and machines. I shuffled from the gurney on to the operating table and the anesthesiologists put me to sleep.

I awoke in the recovery room and immediately thought I was going to be sick. Thankfully I just had the dry heaves and they passed quickly. The woman next to me was weeping which apparently is another common reaction. My throat was parched! I had to wait a few minutes to have any water so I didn’t throw it up. When I asked why my throat hurt so much I was told that I’d had a tube down it. Huh, didn’t expect that.

After 15-20 minutes I was wheeled into the second recovery room and my hubby came in to be with me. Boy was I glad to see him. He held the cup with the straw while I drank as much water as I could. My throat was so bad I could barely whisper but it was so good to just be with him. My shoulders were also incredibly achy. I’d expected this as I’d been forewarned that the gas they use to expand your belly area can get trapped in your shoulders. Something about how the diaphragm works.

With my throat and shoulders causing the most pain I did wonder if they’d done the right operation!

Our doc had gone to see hubby after the operation and told him they’d removed 4 spots of endometriosis and they know that removing it increases our odds of pregnancy by 30%. The resident did come tell me a similar thing but I had only been awake for a moment so I’m not sure it really registered. I seem to recall that he said they were 4 small spots so I’m feeling unsure how much of an impact they might have been having.

After an hour the nurse got me up and into the bathroom. I was able to pee which meant I was able to go home. When I asked her why it hurt so much to pee I discovered that I’d had a catheter. Ouch!

It was an uncomfortable ride home but I was so glad to get into my own bed. I slept all afternoon and about 5pm hubby helped me down to the couch. He’d picked up some trashy magazines for me and also gave me a weekend pass for unlimited foot massages.

The rest of the weekend was just about relaxing as much as possible. I’m not the kind of person who sits still very well so I found it hard. The pain wasn’t too bad when I was sitting still so I didn’t take too many of the Tylenol 3’s. They really make me dopey and it’s hard to read. I just tried to sit still and let my body recover.

Overall the nurses made the whole experience manageable. I really think it takes a special person to nurse people back to health and I can’t thank them enough for making me feel comfortable, answering my questions, and making sure I was OK.

So now I have 3 cuts in my belly, 2 of them are getting yellow/purple bruises around them. I also have a nasty bruise where the IV was put in. But I can move around a lot easier today, although I’m still careful how much I lift.

I’m VERY anxious for our follow up appointment so we can talk about next steps. I’ve been so focused on getting through this surgery I need to know what’s next in our journey. Our doc did say the next 6 months are an important window, I presume she meant before the endo grows back.

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Entry filed under: General, Results, Treatments & Progress. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. stefanie  |  February 25, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Try to ignore the pressure-filled statements docs inadvertently make. Rather than seeing the next six months being a small important window that will close, try to think of them, as a great opportunity to learn more, with at least six new chances for conception. Couple that with all the healthy eating and changes you can make, and you have reason to feel hopeful. In fact, you always have reason to feel hopeful. It’s your body, and any day now, it may make a baby!

  • 2. stefanie  |  February 25, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Also, your husband sounds like a good guy. Good for you!

  • 3. Emily  |  February 26, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    So glad your surgery went well and that you’re recovering quite nicely. Good luck on your follow-up appointment on Monday!! I’ll be thinking great positive thoughts for you.

  • 4. mahleestone  |  February 27, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Thanks! Appreciate the kind words.

    @stefanie – my hubby is a great guy. our relationship has grown so strong because of infertility.
    @emily – thanks! i appreciate the positive thoughts!

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