Although physical examinations and ultrasounds are helpful in identifying endometriosis, a laparoscopy procedure is the only actual way to conclusively diagnose the disease. The experience and outcomes are different for everyone depending on our expectations, severity and duration of the procedure, expertise of the surgeon, hospitality and professionality of the nursing staff, and how we respond to pain. But knowing what to expect, on a general note, can go a long way in making it all more bearable. If you must undergo a laparoscopy, here are some things you should expect:
In most cases, the doctor will order a bowel prep the evening before the procedure. Although the method may differ, a liquid diet and other measures to empty the bowels will be involved. This isn’t a very pleasant course, to be frank, but it is a necessity for bowel-related surgeries. It would help to ask questions and find out all you can about this.
Laparoscopy is normally done under general anaesthesia. Normally, a small incision is made close to the navel, through which the abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide, which bloats the abdomen away from the inner organs. The surgeon thus has a better view. Following this is the insertion of a lighted laparoscope into the abdomen. To allow other surgical tools, like probes to move the organs, inside the abdomen, two extra cuts may be made. A lot of surgeons now also fit a video camera on the laparoscope to get a more enlarged view, and help the whole surgical team to view the entire process.
The aim of laparoscopy is to examine the organs in the pelvic region to find any evident and atypical endometriosis lesions and endometriomas (which are cysts filled by endometriosis). Based on the medical history and symptoms of the patient, the surgeon may also look for fibroid tumours or other anomalies. A hysteroscopy to examine the womb, may also be performed, as well as other examinations.
You may feel a “pins and needles” sensation at the sites of incision owing to cut nerves. These will heal with time and the sensation should subside. Inform your doctor if there are other bothersome symptoms at those sites.
On coming out of the anaesthesia in the recovery room, the pain will start to come in. If it is severe, speak to the medical staff so that it can be managed. You may also feel cold after the anaesthesia wears off. You can ask for more warm blankets if you need to. A sore throat may also result from the tube inserted into your throat during the procedure. Most times, you’ll be given a pain prescription to take at home.
Most people experience nausea after laparoscopy. There are medications to deal with this, most of which can be taken before the surgery, while others are administered during and after. Discuss with your doctor before the procedure to find out about the methods used to reduce nausea. A lot of women have noticed a reduction in nausea when they lie down.
Menstrual issues differ after laparoscopy. Don’t panic if your next period lasts longer, is heavier or more painful than normal. It is due to the time your body is taking to heal internally. If the pain is severe, however, inform your doctor.




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