Today I am recovering from my laparoscopic surgery (lap). This is my second lap. My first was in 2012, before conceiving my amazing son. Since, my recent transfer didn't work, I decided to go full on Braverman which includes having a second lap.
What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
A laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis is generally used to diagnose and treat endometriosis. Yes, you have to have surgery to confirm you have endometriosis - crazy, I know! It is a minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia. It involves four small incisions in your abdomen to insert tools and a small telescope. Your abdomen is also filled with CO2 gas. This allows your doctor to view tissue or take a tissue sample, called a biopsy. They may also remove cysts, implants, and scar tissue caused by endometriosis.
Dr. Braverman now is having all his patients have laser destruction of the peritoneum including the cul de sac during their laps as he has found this significantly increases your chances of having a successful pregnancy. You can read more about this on his blog here
Definitely Research Endometriosis Surgeons Before Hiring One
Interestingly, my first endometriosis surgeon was ahead of the times. I had my peritoneum and cul de sac destroyed during my lap way back in 2102 with Dr. Martin Robbins in Maine, with whom I had a great experience and I would highly recommend. This time my surgery was with Dr. Vidali, who works with Dr. Braverman and operates in Hoboken, NJ so a shorter trip this time. I also had a great experience with Dr. Vidali. If you are considering a laparoscopy for endometriosis and to increase your chances of pregnancy, I would recommend both of these surgeons. It is very important that you choose a surgeon that excises the endometriosis as many surgeons are doing more harm than good for their endometriosis patients. This is certainly not a time to trust just ANY doctor.
Recommended Endometriosis Surgeons
Dr. Martin Robbins - from personal experience.
Dr. Andrea Vidali - from personal experience.
Dr. Tamir Seckin - Dr. Braverman used to recommend this doctor often (now generally Braverman patients go to Dr. Vidiali) and I have a personal friend and many friends in my reproductive immunology groups who have had good experiences with this doctor.
Dr. Mark Pillitteri - Dr. Braverman used to recommend this doctor often (now generally Braverman patients go to Dr. Vidiali) and I have many friends in my reproductive immunology groups who have had good experiences with this doctor.
My Recent Lap Experience
I don't remember my lap with Dr. Robbins as well since it was so long ago but I do remember how thorough Dr. Robbins was. He even came to our hotel room to check on me. Dr. Vidali also gave Dr. Robbins' work a great review when he saw the photos and notes.
My lap with Dr. Vidali was just yesterday so I can tell you in detail how it went for anyone who is about to have one and wants to be prepared.
I met with Dr. Vidali a couple weeks before the surgery for an exam and to discuss the lap.
A couple days before the lap he told me to do kind of a mini bowel prep. I was told to only consume clear liquids after noon the day before the surgery and drink a small 7 dose bottle of Miralax. I was worried because I am a super hungry person and love to eat, but the Miralax made me just nauseous enough that I was not in the mood for food. So I really only drank water and the Miralax after noon. Dr. Vidali didn't have to go near my bowels for the surgery and that I believe is why the mini bowel prep was ok. I have heard that some of his other patients have had to do a full bowel prep.
The hospital also called the day before. The nice woman asked me a few questions and told me not to eat or drink after midnight.
I arrived to the hospital at 9 am and the surgery was scheduled for 11 am.
I was rolled in for surgery around 11:45. I have to tell you hospitals are weird places and it felt strange and a little scary being rolled around in a bed down the sterile halls.
At some point I woke up briefly after surgery and was in pain and they gave me more pain meds.
I didn't wake up again until around 3 PM. But, I believe I slept for quite a while in the recovery room after the surgery. I was kind of awake at some point and could hear myself snoring. I don't really snore (I did as a kid but not as an adult) so not sure why I was snoring but I was drugged up and there was nothing I could to do stop the snoring so I just snored away. After I was awake for a little while, they checked on me and rolled me back to my room.
Dr. Vidali stopped by to see how I was doing and let me know how the surgery went. He showed me some photos that he took. He didn't have much to do because my last lap was so good. He only found one small spot of endometriosis on my right side, which he excised. It was in a spot where I have been having pain for a while so I am hoping the pain will now be gone. I also had signs of inflammation on my uterus which he removed. He also went over my peritoneum including the cul de sac again with the laser. So I am super cleaned out, looking good and after a few weeks of healing I'll be ready for my next try for a baby.
Bring Your Own Healthy Clear Liquids for After Surgery
After surgery they only let you drink clear liquids. I recommend bringing your own. I didn't mind sticking to clear liquids because even though I was a little hungry I just didn't feel like eating too much. I was offered water and ginger ale by the lovely nurse. They offer you tap and Schweppes at the hospital. NJ tap water is full of god knows what (I tasted some and it wasn't great - sorry NJ) and Schweppes is full of gmo corn syrup and natural flavors (which usually is just a way to hide unhealthy stuff in your food) - there is no real ginger in it so I really don't know how they even are allowed to call it ginger ale. They also offer you Jello and crackers. I brought my own gluten free crackers as well and just skipped the Jello (which is also not great for you check out this food babe article regarding how unhealthy Jello is). So basically the hospital just loads you up with a bunch of GMO sugar after your surgery.
Something that really bothers me is that hospitals will feed their patients this completely unhealthy food. A bunch of GMO sugar is not good for you. How is it beneficial to offer this to their patients who are trying to heal?
As someone with auto immune issues my gut health is of particular importance to me so I am careful about what I put in my body. If this is a concern for you, I also recommend bringing your own clear liquids to your lap that will hydrate and nourish you after surgery. Non-gmo ginger ale (ideally organic with real ginger), organic coconut water, gluten free organic rice crackers, organic pasture raised bone broth (if you have an awesome thermos) and a nice bottle or two of Mountain Valley Spring water are all great options. I am sorry if I sound like a snob writing this paragraph but I do believe that clean healthy food options help one heal more quickly.
The next step after drinking your clear liquids is waiting to urinate. It actually took a while for me to have to go at all. I think we ended up leaving around 8:30 PM.
Then it's time to get dressed. You will be sore so you will need someone to help you get dressed. Bringing really soft loose clothing and slip on shoes will certainly make this easier.
My lap was on Thursday and today is Saturday. Yesterday, I was more sore than today. But, even yesterday I was able to walk around and make my son dinner. It was easier if I didn't lift anything and had help getting out of bed but I managed lifting my 7 lb dog and getting out of bed if no one was nearby.
I am feeling remarkably better today. Still sore but I have not taken any pain medication today. I am still resting and taking it easy though.
The worst pain has been from the gas left over in my abdomen from the surgery. The day after the surgery there was a lot of pain in my right shoulder and side. It's like really bad gas pain in a really weird part of your body and it hurts. Today it is much better.
I know some people have a much more difficult recovery from this surgery. Some may have had more endometriosis removed and that may cause more pain. My body also seems to heal remarkably well from surgery. I was up easily walking around the day after my c-section as well. So if you feel worse than I described above that is completely normal.
Finally, they don't allow you to shower for 48 hours after the surgery so showering before the surgery may be a good idea. I am certainly excited to shower tomorrow.