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Are you preparing to have an excision for endometriosis surgery or are just considering one?
These are the things that I did to prepare for my recent robotic-assisted laparoscopy surgery to remove endometriosis and adhesions. It should give you a good idea of what you need to do to prep for your own procedure.
I realized just how much there was to do as I was getting ready for surgery.
To prevent stress and overwhelm I made a list. I love lists and being able to cross items off. Plus this helped me to prioritize what really needed to happen and what could slide.
A few of these will be optional for you- My endo doctor is a couple of hours away, so we stayed in a hotel the day before surgery, and the first night I was released from the hospital. (And in between for hubby. Yep, I had to stay in the hospital a couple of nights.)
I know this may not be the case for you, but it worked out really well- I was on a liquid diet the day before surgery so not having a stocked kitchen available was good!
Please note: I am not a medical professional. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat or diagnose any conditions. Always consult your doctor or medical professionals. Full disclaimer available here.
1. Double-check your appointment times.
You may have several pre-op appointments with your doctor, nurses, lab techs, anesthesiologist, etc. Make sure you have all the correct times so you don’t have to put off the surgery.
This is also the time to see if you need to do any pre-admission testing.
And make sure you know what you may need to do the day or two before your procedure, like showering with antibacterial soap or completing a bowel prep.
2. Complete paperwork and pre-op questionnaires.
I was able to do this online, which saved a lot of time during the check-in process at each appointment: pre-op, surgery, and post-op.
RELATED: Endometriosis Affirmations
3. Fill prescriptions.
Your doctor or surgeon will likely send some prescriptions to your pharmacy for post-op pain and maybe nausea. Make sure you pick those up before your procedure.
4. Go over post-surgery limitations.
My doctor provided an instruction sheet that included at-home instructions. These included: lift no more than 5-10pounds, no vacuuming, no strenuous activities or exercise for 6 weeks after surgery, and no tub baths for 6 weeks. (I’m planning on a super relaxing bath when I hit that 6-week mark.)
5. Check health insurance info.
You’ll want to know when your benefits reset- with the calendar year or at a different time. Also, do you need any pre-approvals or anything? Know your coverage details and don’t hesitate to call the customer service line.
RELATED: Endometriosis Excision Surgery: Hospital Bag Essentials
6. Prepare an overnight bag.
Depending on if you’re having a laparoscopic procedure, robot-assisted, or open surgery you’ll need to pack an overnight bag.
For outpatient procedures, this is just in case you get admitted into the hospital. For open surgery, your doctor should discuss how long you’ll be in the hospital for recovery.
If you aren’t sure what to pack, check out this post on what was in my hospital bag.
RELATED: Endometriosis Overview
7. Schedule time off work.
Your doctor should be able to provide some guidance on how much time you should take off of work. This could vary depending on your job and its requirements. Fill out any paperwork if needed.
My recovery estimate for both my laparoscopic surgery in 2018 and this recent robotic-assisted surgery was 2 to 6 weeks. I definitely needed a full week and a half off before I could do even a little work from home (i.e. from bed- I wrote this post if you’re curious).
If you play a wind instrument- it took 3-4 weeks before I could get my euphonium out to play. My diaphragm was really sore from the gas so I couldn’t take a deep breath, but they gave me an incentive spirometer to practice taking deep breaths.
8. Book a hotel and schedule pet- or babysitters.
If it’s a bit of a drive (ours was 2 hours away) you may want to book a hotel for the night before or the night of your surgery.
If you have pets or children make sure to schedule sitters for the time you’re gone.
You may also want help for a few days after surgery, even if you’re home.
My mom ended up staying to watch our fur babies most of the week since I had to stay at the hospital for a couple of nights.
9. Prepare for nausea.
During my pre-op physical the hospital’s doctor told me that I had a 60% chance of nausea after the anesthesia. I 100% did.
I’ve also had endometriosis pain so bad that it caused vomiting, so I’ve tried many things and these have been the most effective for me.
Some things that can help with nausea:
I also recommend keeping a bucket or some vomit bags by your bed. They’re very useful if nausea suddenly hits. That is not a mess you want to deal with while recovering.
10. Meal Prep.
My post-op instructions said to not cook the first week after surgery (check with your doctor).
We talked about meal prepping, but instead, Josh ordered meals from HelloFresh. He enjoys cooking, and it saved him time with groceries and the way each meal’s ingredients are conveniently packed.
You could also prep crockpot meals or have a couple of casserole dishes or soups ready to go. To save yourself even more time you could prep some meals a couple of weeks in advance and freeze them.
You’ll also want to have some snacks ready to go. The first couple days after surgery you may spend a lot of time sleeping and still have some nausea and not be able to eat much. This is where having some go-to snacks can be really beneficial.
At first, I was allowed to have broth and jello, then when I could have solid liquids that added applesauce and yogurt. I vaguely remember having a popsicle at one point too.
Once I was cleared to eat regular food my go tos were Baked Lays and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The cinnamon seemed to help with my nausea and the baked Lays gave me a salty option with less grease. (I know these aren’t the healthiest, but it’s what I was craving.)
At home, I enjoyed snacking on berries and melon slices. Nuts are a good choice too. Applesauce cups or pouches are nice.
I also had some Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Cups and Oatmeal Cups.
Some more options:
- Animal crackers
- Sun-Maid Sour Raisins
- Pudding Cups
- Fruit Cups
- Chia Pudding
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Fruit snacks
RELATED: Endometriosis Excision Surgery: Hospital Bag Essentials
11. House Cleaning
During your recovery from endometriosis excision surgery, you won’t want to worry about dishes or laundry. And you’ll probably have some doctor-instructed limits anyway.
Mine were that I could do light housework 1-2 weeks after surgery but to limit activity for 2-6 weeks. No vacuuming. No strenuous activity or exercise for 6 weeks.
Knowing this, I did some deep cleaning beforehand. I knew my hubby would have his hands full helping me, taking care of the fur babies, doing all the cooking and dishes on top of a full-time job.
So I deep cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen, made sure to change the bedding, and did laundry so that my loose, comfy clothes were ready. I also did some general tidying, but those were the main priorities.
Start by making a list of what you want to be done before your procedure. Then prioritize. Star your top 3-5 tasks and focus on those first.
Take it Easy
You might feel unproductive doing very little after surgery, especially with all that needs to get done before your endometriosis excision surgery.
But during recovery, your main goal is just that- to recover.
Rest. Sleep when you need to and drink lots of fluids.
Take this time to stream those shows you’ve been wanting to watch or read a fun book.
Journal how you’re feeling.
Start meditating and fall asleep a few minutes in.
Give your body time to heal. That’s your priority.
If you’re wondering what you might need for a quick and easy recovery, check out this post next for endometriosis surgery recovery essentials.
I have a whole post with endometriosis affirmations available here that you might find useful.
I’d love to know- what is your top priority to accomplish before endo surgery? Is there anything else you’d like to know about endo surgery? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you all the best!
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Hi, my name is Katy. I started this blog to help you infuse life with ease and joy by sharing recipes and tips for your fertility and lifestyle.
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