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Laparoscopic excision surgery for endometriosis recovery

Original Post
Kate Blume · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 5

Hi all! I’m having a laparoscopic excision surgery for endometriosis on Monday and wondering if anyone else has had a similar surgery and can shed light on recovery time. My doctor/surgeon says no physical activity at ALL beyond light household chores and brief neighborhood walks for 3.5 WEEKS until my post-op appointment which tbh as a very active person, feels like a death sentence. I was told “no heavy lifting” for 6-8 weeks (which I assume includes my entire body weight, so no climbing).

Obviously I will listen to my doctors and I won’t do anything they say I shouldn’t, but I’m wondering if anyone else has had this surgery and can shed light on how long their actual recovery process was. I haven’t taken anywhere even close to 8 weeks off in the entire 7 years I have been climbing, so it feels very daunting to be told that. 

FWIW, my doctor expects my condition to be severe and the concern is not the incisions healing because they will be quite small, but the fact that she expects to spend 3-3.5 hours cutting endometriosis off my internal organs, which will then all need to heal. 

Bruno Schull · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 0

Hey Kate, 

I feel for you.  For an active person that length of recovery time does feel like a death sentence.

I'm a 50 years old, and I've had about eight surgeries in the last 20 years (I've lost track!), all for muskuloskeletal injuries, all with recovery times like yours or longer.  Like you, I am addicted to exercise, and have been since I was about 14.  Also, I have ADHD and OCD, which are partially releived by exercise.  And I have a family and a child.  Which is to say, if I can get through it, you can get through it!

I have come to see the surgeries and the down time as a "time out" from life.  Nobody can demand anything from you, and you don't have to feel guilty about just resting.  I would just embrace that--it's not often in our crazy lives that we get a real chance to slow down and rest.

Then, when you are ready, you could try new light exercises.  Running or walking with a foam floation belt in a swimming pool is really good.  Some physical therapy centers of gyms have "hand bike ergometers" (don't laugh, we do what we can!).   Static balance poses can be really hard (stand on one foot with your eyes do it with you torso inclined and one leg extended backward).  Light ski ergometers or ellipitcals or whatever other machines for cardio could work.  Maybe you're worried about finger strength?  Get some grip trainers or use a bucket of rice and develop the most iron grip ever.  

Just don't overdo it.  I think you are absolutely right to focus on the internal wounds rather than the external incision.  You wouldn't want the internal wounds to start bleeding.  And that does make your situation difficult, because you don't want to excessively move your torso and abdomen, or put any stress or tension through your core.  It's going to be hard. 

But you have no choice, right?  I've heard endometriosis is really painfull, as well as underdiagnosed.  So this is a positive step.  Hopefully in the long term you will have less pain.

So accept.   Adapt.  Go slow.  Be creative.  Try to see it as an opportunity or turning point.  You will come back stronger.  

Good luck, and hang in there.  

Kat W · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Dec 2019 · Points: 0

Hi, Kate! I’m 7 weeks post laparoscopic surgery myself (full hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy), and I was told I had restrictions on everything except short walks and lifting up to 10 lbs for 6 weeks... I too had doubts I would really need *that* long to heal, especially since I already had an active lifestyle and had a textbook, complication-free recovery. Once I got past the initial ouchies and felt mostly like myself again, I admittedly did overdo it a little (walked a little too far, lifted a little too heavy when doing yard work), and each time, the next day, I definitely felt that I had sent my recovery a couple steps back. At my follow-up at 4 weeks, I asked my doctor if I *really* had to wait two more weeks to start running again, since I was feeling so good, and he explained that it really was important because after an internal trauma like that, the connective tissue basically needs to spin a new web around all the things (since it had all been detached during surgery) before you go engaging those muscles, which pulls on things internally, or jostling things around. I also have a girlfriend who lifted too heavy post-hysterectomy and sent her recovery WAY back because she herniated something up in there while she was healing. My advice is to roll with the short-term discomfort of having to hold back on activity so that you can experience the long-term gain of being able to do ALL the things (and with less pain!) after your doctor clears it. Use the time to explore simple pleasures that you normally don’t have time for during more active times in your life — reading, movies, binge-watching a good TV show (or a trashy one… I binged Gossip Girl during my recovery), crosswords, sudoku, coloring, drawing, writing, etc. Good luck, and speedy recovery!

Nick Lee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2023 · Points: 0

Get well soon! 

Follow the doctor's advice.

John Craig · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 23 days ago · Points: 0

Hope you are feeling better soon!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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