I have undergone two laparoscopies for diagnosing my infertility as well to clean out endometriosis and scar tissue. They are not fun. Here are the things I wish I had known before having the procedure performed:
1. Be careful about what you eat after the surgery.
I made the mistake of eating Chinese food after the surgery, and I spent the next several hours vomiting it back up. Different people react differently to anesthesia. Some people can eat like a horse afterward and be just fine, but other people, like me, really need to eat very gentle foods like soup after having surgery. Err on the side of caution. When you have just had an incision in your navel, the last thing you need is to feel your stomach lurching for several hours.
2. Call the doctor if anything seems unusual.
The second time I had the surgery, one of my stitches poked out of the incision. This did not feel good. Rather than sitting around feeling uncomfortable, call the doctor and let him make sure that your incision is healing properly. When in doubt, call the doctor.
3. Buy clothing that does not gather at the waist.
I do not own a lot of clothing that does not gather at the waist, whether that is with elastic, a snap, or a button. You will not want any pressure near your navel for about a week. If you do not own a dress that does not gather at the waist, then buy a few. Your doctor will likely suggest having the surgery on a Friday so you can return to work on Monday. You will not want to have anything pressing on your navel during your first week back at work.
4. Clear your calendar for 2-3 days after the surgery.
Many people fail to realize the seriousness of outpatient surgery. Because the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, many people assume that it is not that big of a deal. All surgery is a big deal: You are being administered anesthesia, and a surgeon is cutting into your body. Even though you are recovering at home instead of in a hospital, you need to set aside time to rest. You will not be back to 100% for a while, and your body needs to rest for at least a few days afterward.
While a laparoscopy is not as serious as open heart surgery, it is still “serious.” I agree with the saying that “minor surgery is surgery that someone else is having.” Surgery is still surgery, so be sure to take good care of yourself while you recover.
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