My Laparoscopy and Dye experience
So 5 days ago on 27/10/17 I had my laparoscopy and dye surgery. In the few weeks leading up to this, all I seemed to spend my spare time doing was googling and searching for other ladies stories and experiences of the day itself, how it went, how they felt after, the pain, recovery time etc. So I decided to create a detailed experience of my own in the hope that I would help other ladies who felt as eager for information as I did.
The first thing I will say that is from my MANY hours of research and reading I found that there are many different experiences and variations on how the day pans out and what recovery etc is like so please don’t take my version to be how yours will be- however im sure there are elements which will be similar.
So I was asked to arrive at the day surgery unit of my local hospital for 7.30am. My husband took me and dropped me off (we asked if he could stay but at my hospital the answer was no unfortunately). I decided to wear lose fitting jeans, oversized t-shirt and my sketchers as I wanted to feel comfortable. I also made sure I had showered/washed my hair the night before (I was told not to wear any perfumed products) and also made sure all make up/nail varnish was removed. I packed my kindle as there was a lot of waiting around so I advise taking something to pass the time.
Upon arrival I was given my wristband with my name, DOB etc on – hubby was asked to write down his phone number so they could call him when I was ready to be picked up. He gave me a big hug and off he went. I was then taken through to the waiting area with 15 other day surgery patients. This was a room with roughly 24 large comfy blue chairs in. A few minutes after sitting down I had my blood pressure taken and was measured for my surgical stockings.
8.20am- I met with my anesthetist who went through a long list of questions with me, checked my airway, got me to move my head up/down/left/right. He talked me through the general anesthetic and how it would work. He also gave me chance to ask any questions. He was really nice and put me at ease- the anesthetic was probably the part of the whole procedure I was most nervous about so having such a friendly guy really helped put me at ease.
8.45am- Met with my surgeon who again was very nice. He confirmed the procedure with me (laparoscopy and dye test). I asked if this was just a diagnostic procedure or if he would treat anything he found if he could. He confirmed he would treat what he could depending on what he found.
8.50am- Met with one of the nurses who confirmed a few health check questions, gave me another wristband for my other wrist and made me do a pregnancy test (oh the irony!).
11.20am Was taken through to surgery waiting area and given my gown and pants to put on (I was expecting paper pants but these were a stretchy cotton type which although looked ugly were actually really comfy to wear!). I was also given my stockings to put on which were incredibly tight and took a bit of time to put on! I also put my dressing gown and slippers on and then began a bit of a waiting game.
1.00pm I was finally taken through to the anesthetic room. This room was very small with lots of equipment everywhere. To begin with there were a couple of theatre nurses, both lovely and chatting to me. Then my anesthetist came in, and explained once again what would be happening. During this chat I was given about 6 sticky pads which they clip the monitors to (3 on my left arm and 3 on my chest). The anesthetist explained he was going to insert the cannula into my hand- this was fine, just a small scratch. He then said he would be injecting a very strong painkiller which was going to make me feel tipsy- I have to say this felt amazing haha! He asked how I felt after injecting it and I just muttered “wonderful!”. He then said he was going to inject the drug to make me go to sleep- he asked me to look up to the ceiling and to keep blinking. I remember doing this but then nothing! Out like a light!
Around 3.00pm- I woke up very slightly in the recovery room. I was lying on my right side and was wriggling my legs a lot, I was dazed and confused and couldn’t understand what was happening and why I was wriggling around and then I felt it….the pain in my stomach. It wasn’t unbearable but I remember it feeling like I had been repeatedly kicked in my tummy. The nurse watching over me immediately asked if I needed pain relief to which I said yes- I remember it being injected in my hand and within seconds I felt fine and drifted back off to sleep.
Around 4.00pm- I remember being wheeled from the recovery room back to the ward- I was trying to open my eyes to look around but I just couldn’t, I kept trying but they wouldn’t budge, I was still so sleepy. I was then back on the ward and went back to sleep again.
4.45pm- The nurse now looking after me gently woke me up and said my husband had just called to see how I was doing, she explained that she had told him to come about 5.30pm. I remember feeling alarmed at this as this was only 45 minutes away and I still felt incredibly sleepy. About 10 mins later she brought me a cup of tea and some toast and sat me up a bit more in my bed. It took me a good 25 minutes to eat and drink this as I was still half out of it. At this point the pain was fine, I just felt very tender. The nurse explained that the painkillers they had given me in the recovery room had been MEGA strong and as a result I would feel sleepy/woozy for quite a while.
Hubby arrived at 5.30pm to collect me but when the nurse checked on me I had fallen back to sleep! She told him to go grab a cupa and come back in 30 mins. By this time I had managed to get out of bed but was very lightheaded and sleepy. I had to have help getting dressed as I felt like I was going to fall over. He came in about 6.15pm in the end with a wheelchair. I was sat in my little chair at the side of the bed, dozed off again haha!
Got into the car without too much trouble- I lay a pillow over my tummy so that the seatbelt wouldn’t rub. I don’t remember much of the car journey home as I was dozing off again.
Once we got home it was around 7.00pm and didn’t want to go straight to bed so sat up in the living room with a v-shaped pillow (highly recommend buying one of these, it has been brilliant). I stayed up watching TV and sipping water until 9pm and then decided to go to bed. I took 2 of the co-codomol the hospital gave me and went straight off to sleep.
So it’s been 5 days since the op and I have to say pain wise its not been too bad. I have still got quite a sore tummy, standing up/sitting down is still a slow process but I am managing to move around. I read lots of stories about ladies getting terrible pains in their chest/shoulders from the left over gas they pump inside you – I had a little of this on the first day but nothing since so I’ve been lucky in that sense. I have taken the co-codomol when I need them but they have been making me feel extremely drowsy and sick so avoided them as much as possible. I’ve also used a hot water bottle on my tummy which has helped ease the pain.
I haven’t done a number 2 yet (6 days and counting….) number 1s have been okay but I am finding the ‘pushing’ sensation difficult so I have to sit on the toilet and just wait for it to trickle out on its own. I also lost the sensation of if I need to wee or not although that is slowly coming back today. I will also mention here that my period was due the day after my surgery and still hasn’t shown up- I have read it can be delayed so will just wait and see when it arrives.
I had 3 incisions in total- one in my belly button, one on my left side and one very low down on my pubic line. The belly button one has become infected- very smelly and had discharge, saw the GP today who has given me cream to rub on it. Other two wounds are fine though and healing very nicely. Just very itchy!!
I have an appointment to see my consultant again in 4 weeks for the full results- I didn’t get to see anyone after the op but was given a letter with a few notes typed up. Mine basically said there were filmy adhesions, which had been divided, left tube blocked and right tube swollen and twisted. So sadly for me it doesn’t sound a great outcome so am expecting IVF to be next but will find out more at my next appointment.
Anyway I really hope this account has helped you- my main advice is take comfy oversized clothes to wear home from the hospital, make sure someone is around to look after you for the first 48 hours, get a v-shaped pillow- very comfy! And rest as much as possible. I am signed off for two weeks (im a teacher) but will see how I feel at the end of next week as to whether or not im ready to go back. Everyone is different and I had read stories of women going back to work the next day- this definitely wouldn’t have been the case for me, but everyone recovers differently.
If anyone has any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
Good luck x