I decided to write down here some important and useful things about the situations and the whole process of recovery after endometriosis surgery. I will start with things that can appear even from the hospital and I will go on with details like "when you can begin again your training"or "how often should you go to doctor afterwards".
As you might guess, depending on the country, doctor and hospital, some of these things might differ, but still they can apply to a lot of patients.
I would also want to say that it depends if you have an endometriosis surgery only for diagnosing, an endometriosis surgery only for ovarian cysts/adhesions or a surgery for bowel endometriosis surgery.
I had a bowel endometriosis surgery, stage 4 so I will look into the details thinking about my surgery.
Things that might appear in hospital, after the surgery
Depending on your anesthesia, you might feel dizzy 4-5 hours after surgery. This was my case, but one of my friends who got operated one year after me was able to take some steps 2-3 hours after surgery. Both of us had a bowel endometriosis surgery (don't know the bowel endometriosis symptoms? Read this article)
Still, if you feel dizzy, you cannot go out of bed the next day, don’t you worry about it, it is normal.
2). Your period might come
Even if it is not the due date, many patients experience that after surgery. Me included. At first doctors said it was bleeding from surgery, nothing to worry about, but considering the quantity for me it was clear it was my period. I was right. The next period was after 28 days straight from my surgery.
Again, nothing to worry about, just let the nurses and doctor know.
Here, I would also want to say that, for me, the first periods after surgery were a little bit more painful than before. I read about it, but still, I want to mention it here as many women believe this is wrong. Some experience way less pain, but some, for 3-4 months, experience heavier and more painful periods, as a result of the “surgery trauma”.
3). Blood in stool
I didn’t experience this, but many of my friends did. Doctors say it is normal to have reddish, brownish blood in your stool for 3-4 days after surgery. Again, let your doctor know and don’t panic.
4). You can’t sleep
I advise you to sleep really well the nights before surgery as in the hospital you might lack sleep. Of course the nurses you will give you medications if you can’t sleep but it is not the same.
I recommend you to tell them if you have this problem, not to stay like that, hoping the problem will get solved. Your body needs rest.
5). You are bloated, you feel that gas from laparoscopy all over the body
I was bloated; I felt the gas from laparoscopy but not so much as other patients. I know you can feel it in weird places, just don’t panic, it is from the gas doctors use for the laparoscopy.
6). You might have some fever
We are used to think fever is a sign of infection, but after surgery fever might appear as a way our body is processing healing.
Again, talk to the doctor, but don’t panic, especially if the fever is not high.
At least in my case, I had an antibiotic for the first days in the hospital, if I recall well, some days afterwards, so everything was under control.
7). You might have allergic reactions from the treatment
I am allergic only to Oxacilyn - I informed my doctors - but after so many antibiotics, serums etc. I developed a rash on my legs. Nothing to worry about, it went away in 3-4 days, but I wanted to write it down here just for you to know this might also happen.
8). The drainage tube has to be kept for more days than usual
The drainage tube is a device doctors insert in there in order to let the inside heal better. I had to keep it for more days than usual. If the doctor decides that it’s for your own good, don’t worry. The same happens with the urine bag. Doctors know exactly how many days should you keep them.
9). You don’t pass gas in the first day(s) and you are a little bit constipated
In Romania, in order to be released from hospital after surgery you have to pass gas and go to the bathroom on your own. After a bowel endometriosis surgery this kind of things might be difficult. You are supposed to pass gas the next day after surgery – I passed 2 days after it.
I wasn’t constipated in the hospital, but afterwards, and my doctor prescribed me something – again, these are normal things after such procedures.
Don’t panic, don’t push your body and be patient!
10). You might need a blood transfusion
If your hemoglobin level is too low, doctors might decide to give you a blood transfusion. This was my case as they said this way the bowel anastomosis will heal better. It was all right. In Romania, before this surgery you have to test the blood group too, but I remember they did it in the hospital too, just to make sure.
Things that can happen after you leave hospital
This thing happened to me in my first, but also the second surgery. I announced my doctors, they said it was all right.
I also helped a little bit my body and took the homeopathic pills I told you about in this article. First, I wrote to my doctor and he said it was all right to took it.
Spotting from that little whole where the drainage tube was
Seven-eight days after surgery, after my doctors removed my stiches I experienced some spotting/leaking from that little whole where the drainage tube was in the belly.
I called my doctor, he told me what to do (I think to clean the place and to put betadine). After 1-2 days it stopped but I think then it started the vaginal spotting.
After leaving the hospital, at the hotel (my surgery was in another town than my native town) I had this problem with constipation.
I mention I had bowel endometriosis surgery, with a bowel resection of 8 cm, very close to the rectum. My doctor recommended me castor oil, it didn’t have much effect, so I wrote to my doctor and told him for constipation I was always having Magnesium Citrate/Magnesium Bis(Glycinate) from Solgar or Doctor’s Best. He said it was all right to take it and things got much easier. (Do you want to know a part of my Natural Supplements Protocol? Here it is).
Everything you want to take, please inform your doctor.
After surgery, I was able to walk, alone and helped by my mother, but still I was very well “on the outside”, I don’t think people would have guessed I went through a surgery.
Yet, I was still very tired when walking too much. Keep that in mind and be gentle with you and your body. After I got home I started a multivitamin pill. It helped.
Below you have some answers to the questions many endometriosis patients have
1). When I will be able to go back to work?
I work from home, so for me it was easier. If you have a hard working job, going to the office every day, I would say to have a medical leave 1 month after surgery.
One month is the period of time I believe everyone should be able to go to work again.
Keep in mind it depends on your type of surgery, on your recovery, on your body etc. Apart from that, you will feel tired from time to time so don’t expect to go to work after 1 month and be like a Superwoman. Like I said before, be gentle to your body.
2). When I will be able to do sport again?
I was able to do some basic exercises after 1.5-2 months after surgery. For intense training, talk to your doctor, start slow and listen to your body.
For the girls that had or will have a bowel endometriosis surgery, I would say to stay away from intense training for some time. Walking and mild cardio training should be enough.
3). When will I be able to have intimate contact again? Will it hurt?
When leaving the hospital, on that document from the doctors, it will write down this detail too. If I recall well, it was 2 or 3 weeks. Yet, keep in mind the first time might be difficult, especially for endometriosis patients who experienced pain during intercourse prior to the surgery too.
Talk to your doctor to recommend you a special gel for more lubrication.
My doctor recommends Gleitgelen but I don’t know if you can find it in your country. Just see the active substance and then search for a similar product in your country (if your doctors does not recommend you anything on that).
4). When my intestinal transit will be like before the surgery/when I was healthy?
This is a difficult and complex question. Before surgery, many endometriosis patients have constipation, diarrhea, alternation of these two. After surgery many experience constipation or LARS syndrome (frequent stools – the general meaning, but LARS is more complex than that, your doctor will explain it to you if it is the case).
Several months after surgery, the bowel will try to heal and you could experience all sort of reactions.
For me, my intestinal transit was much better 9-10 months after surgery. After 1.5 years I could say that things were "wow" comparing with what I have lived for 7 years of constipation, prior to my surgery. Now, after 6 years, I think my intestinal transit is closest to normal.
I still have periods of mild constipation but when this happens I take 1-2 pills of Magnesium Citrate from Solgar. I mention the brand because the same product from other brands either don't work, or they make me sick.
5). How often should I go to the medical check up?
As I had bowel endometriosis, stage 4, my doctor told me to come at: 1 month after surgery, 3 months after surgery and then.. 8 months I think, but here it depends on your case.
I know in abroad, things are really different, with telephone appointments etc. – I am really sorry for that, I really believe the medical system should be different and the doctors should check on you phsysically. And I truly believe an endometriosis medical check up should consist of (as my doctor says): medical history discussion, the medical exam and the vaginal ultrasound.
6). How is the recovery after endometriosis surgery?
It depends. Some patients recover well, others harder. Some experience more difficult symptoms, others don't.
Bottom line, I don’t think the endometriosis surgery and its recovery are neither hard, nor easy. It's something in between.
You just have to take it step by step, being gentle with your body and yourself.
And, if on your mind is this question too: “When will I be able to forget about my endometriosis surgery?” the correct and right answer here is “Never”.
If you do, and stop going to doctor, stop paying attention to what you do, what you eat, how you sleep, how much sport you are doing, how stressed you are, if you forget everything you’ve been through at the surgery – well, things will not be good for you – in time. At least this is my opinion, an endometriosis patient with 2 surgeries, one with bowel endometriosis, stage 4.
I am not 100% aware of it myself, all the time, but when I am not, things become pretty nasty and I try to start all over again.
Endometriosis is a long haul disease so we’d better make friends with it rather than hate it. In the end, this might be our salvation.
If you want to read my Endometriosis Journal, but not only, please subscribe to this website, like and follow our Facebook and Instagram page.
Also, if you liked my articles about Endometriosis and you found them useful, you can help us with a small donation here. It helps us keep this website and continue writing endometriosis & healthy lifestyle articles.