A laparoscopy for endo can be scary, especially if it’s your first one. That’s why I’ve put together a list of what you can expect, and even included a list of what to pack! Between these two lists, you will be able to confidently have a laparoscopy knowing that you are fully prepared.
First, expect to have to complete a pre-operative appointment. Usually, within the days leading up to your laparoscopy, your doctor will schedule blood tests and possibly other imaging tests to complete before surgery. I’ve only ever had to do a few blood tests, and they were very quick.
Second, expect to stop consuming fluids and food before midnight the night before your surgery. This is a must, otherwise you may be sick after the operation. It is also very important to stop taking any medication prior to midnight as well. I remember wanting so badly to take anti-nausea medicine the morning before one of my procedures, but if I had it would not have been worth it because I would have been sick following surgery.
Essentially, you cannot have anything in your stomach from midnight the night before your laparoscopy until the laparoscopy is over.
Third, expect to be at the hospital very early in the morning for your procedure. Surgeries are usually really, really early in the morning! But, that’s a good thing because you most likely won’t be too hungry prior to the procedure since it is so early in the morning. Plus, you won’t have to wait long after waking up that morning to go to the hospital and have the procedure. That way, you’re not waiting and waiting during waking hours for the time to come to go to the hospital.
Fourth, expect to have to change into a hospital gown. And, for the best part, you get to put on a *high fashion* hospital gown! LOL. But, really, you do have to put on a hospital gown. The nurse will give you a bag to put your clothes in. It is helpful to wear the simplest, most comfortable outfit you can because a) it needs to fit into a bag and b) it needs to be comfortable on your pelvis when you change before going home. Also, it is a good idea to leave jewelry at home so it does not get lost.
Fifth, expect to have at least one IV before going into surgery. Once you’ve changed into a hospital gown, the nurses will most likely start an IV for you. If you have endo, you’ve probably had an IV before. If not, don’t worry. IV’s are simply small needles that deliver fluids and medicine directly into your arm. They don’t hurt much, especially when compared to endo pain!
Sixth, expect to have to sit and wait a little while (or longer) for surgery. If every thing is going as scheduled, you should be able to go into the operating room at the time you were given ahead of time. However, even then, you are going to have to wait a bit in the pre-op room. But, if your surgeon ends up running late, you may have to wait for a long time. I remember only waiting about an hour and going in on time for my first laparoscopy. For my second, though, I waited almost two hours later than I expected to due to an unexpected surgery that had to happen before mine.
It’s good to bring a book to read or to have TV shows downloaded and ready to watch on your phone so in case you have to wait longer than expected you have entertainment.
Seventh, expect to speak to an anesthesiologist and your surgeon before the operation. While you are waiting in the pre-op room/holding area, the anesthesiologist(s) who will be present during your surgery will come to speak to you and explain his/her plan as far as anesthesia goes during the laparscopy. They will ask you about your surgical history pertaining to anesthesia and answer any questions you have.
Once the anesthesiologist has met with you, (or before), your surgeon will meet with you and go over the plan once more and answer any questions you have for him/her.
Eighth, you will be brought to the operating room. Once your surgeon is ready, you will be brought to the operating room and anesthesia will be given to you. Then, your only job is to fall asleep!
Ninth, you will wake up in the post-op recovery room. Once the laparoscopy has ended, you will be brought to a recovery room where you will eventually wake up and most likely be able to see your family or whoever has brought you to the hospital and waited for you. You will be given something light to eat and drink and allowed to rest.
Tenth, you will get up, get dressed, and go home! As long as you do not have to stay overnight at the hospital, you will be able to get up and get dressed after awhile. Don’t worry, the nurse will help you! Then, you can be wheeled out to your car in a wheel chair and go home!
All in all, the process is not that scary. I encourage you to ask any questions you have–doing so will allow you to go into the procedure with no doubts. You will be okay!
Plus, this list of 7 things to pack will make things much easier for you! Pin this article to your Pinterest now so you have easy access in the future! And, be sure to read and Pin my corresponding article about what to pack! It gives an explanation and details for each item that you should pack for a laparoscopy that you do not want to miss!
How was your laparoscopy experience? Comment below!