All About My Lap Surgery
Ok – so to start, I actually had 4 different procedures done at the same time – not just a lap. But from what I understand, any of these things could happen to you if you’re undergoing a lap, depending on what your doctor finds once they go in. I'll edit this post later with the names of all the procedures, after I find them out later today. I should have written them down before, but didn't think of it.
To prepare, I could drink or eat anything past midnight, the night before the procedure. The not eating wasn’t tough, but not drinking was. My surgery was scheduled for 1pm and I had to be at the hospital at 11:30 – so that felt like a long time of not having anything to drink.
The night before I took Misoprostol vaginally to help my cervix open, since I have been told I have a tough cervix. I read up on it online and discovered that it is generally used to help bring on contractions for women having trouble opening up in labor. My doctor had told me to be prepared to have some cramps during the night. I went to bed with a hot water bottle near by incase I needed it. I stayed awake until about 3 am but never felt anything. Not even a crampy twinge. I was worried this meant it wasn’t working for me, but I don’t think they had any problems getting in and the when I mentioned to be doctor before the surgery that I didn’t feel anything, she simply said that some women don’t cramp. I’ll ask her next week at my post-op if she thought it worked.
Once we were at the hospital, things progressed quickly. I met every single member of my surgery team before it began. Like 3 different anesthesiolgists, the surgeon who was going to assist my doctor and 2 nurses. I got an IV in my left hand, took some meds they gave me, for pain and stomach issue prevention and a little after 1pm they wheeled me out of the waiting room and into the surgery room. I remember it looked like a huge storage room – not like an OR on ER or some medical show, ha ha. It was crowded and large with loads of equipment everywhere.
I must have been knocked out pretty much right away, because the next thing I know it was several hours later and I was in a recovery room with my husband. When I woke up, I had a breathing tube in my nose, which I guess they had been alternating with an oxygen mask, and a clip on my finger that was measuring something and I still had the IV in. I didn’t feel anything, except for a sore throat, which is where the tube was during the operation.
I have three tiny incisions – they went in through my belly button and then I have two of the smallest cuts you ever did see, each about 5 inches on either side of my belly button. The two side cuts just had regular band-aids on them and there was a gauze tapped to my belly button. I could see where they had taped something to my left leg during the surgery and where something was covering my stomach, because where ever my skin was exposed, I am red, like a sunburn of sorts. I think my body my have been sensitive to the lights.
I’m not exactly sure how long the surgery took, but I think it was a little over 2 hours, but that is because I had more than a standard lap procedure. I think they had one hour on the books for the lap and one hour down for the rest of what they needed to do.
It’s been pretty easy. I stayed in the recovery room for several hours, almost four, because I had trouble coming out of the general anesthesia. I don’t want to report too much about that in this post, because that’s not “normal” and didn’t have anything to do with my surgery itself. I am really hoping that if someone does a search in the threads for Lap Procedure or whatever, that they would find this post useful, so I don’t want to bog it down with my personal results or problems.
I had to wait until I could pee in front of a nurse, which she measured, and eat something, which in my case was a graham cracker and drink a small amount if ginger ale – before I could be released.
My incisions have not bothered me at all, until yesterday – 3 days post-surgery, when they began to itch somewhat. However, while I’m not positive, I think I may be having an allergic reaction to something unrelated, which may explain the itching. They have been easy to clean and I haven’t even replaced the bandages once I removed them. Then again, I haven’t really had to go anywhere, and I’ve been wearing stretchy yoga clothes. I did bleed through the belly button gauze the day of and it stained the dress I was wearing.
Speaking of stretchy clothes, my stomach was very distended for the first 3 days. I’m not sure if it was the gas they filled me up with or what, but my stomach is/was huge. No way could I zip up my regular jeans even if I wanted too.
And the gas… this was perhaps the most uncomfortable part. I guess they fill you up with gas to make more room inside of you? I’m sure about that, but I think that’s what I was told. I have had a hard time expelling it. I should mention now though, that I have always had trouble releasing gas – I don’t burp or pass gas like most other people. It’s always been a painful struggle for me and a problem that has even driven me to the emergency room before. Once I thought I was having a heart attack because of chest pain, but it turned out to simply be trapped gas in my chest. My family even has a plan in place to help me when I have what we call a Gas Attack. This plan includes a hot water bottle and Tylenol and Gas X, so it’s not a big deal, but it can be severe enough to where we all know what the drill is if I get an attack.
So anyway, the gas pains I’ve been having are nothing like what I’m used too. Instead for the first 2 days after, I just could feel it in my right shoulder and the right side of my chest. I burped a lot and even passed some gas, and it never hurt, but I was always aware of it and felt slightly uncomfortable. Moving my body, massages and walking and using a hot water bottle on my shoulder and back seemed to help quite a bit. I even took Gas X on the first full day of recovery, but I’m not sure it made a difference, and I wouldn’t take it again.
Speaking of pain meds… they prescribed me some ibuprofen, and some Oxycotin and then a laxative to go along with whatever problems the Oxycotin may give me. I have only taken the ibuprofen a few times, and only on Friday night and Saturday morning. I had been warned to try stay ahead of the pain once the general wore off. I don’t think I needed to do that looking back. While I could tell I had something done to my body, I was never in any real pain or discomfort. No way will I take the Oxycotin, although I had my husband fill the prescription just in case. I had to be there in person to show my ID and that wasn’t easy. I was still really groggy. I wonder if I could have gotten my prescriptions filled before hand? My husband had to lead me from the car, into the pharmacy, and then back to the car while he waited for them to be filled. I bet I looked pretty awful and out of it.
It is now 4-days later and I feel fine. Again, I can tell I had something done, and I’m aware that my body feels a bit tender, but I could go about my daily life with no real problems or issues. I’m glad I scheduled time off on my books though, because I am thankful for the rest. I didn’t have an abundance or even a normal amount of energy. I have been tired and sluggish – but to be honest, a lot of that may not be typical. I am having a very hard time recovering from the general anesthesia, still, even all these days later, so my energy level may have something to do with that. Making sure I had at least 5 days to lounge around has been nice. I do have to do some errands today and my husband will be going back to work, so I’ll see if it feels like to much activity at the end of the day – if so, I’ll completely slack off tomorrow.
However, I know that some people say it’s a simple key-hole surgery and that the recommended 2-weeks off isn’t necessary. I would say that is maybe true, but that I think we all have to remember that the work is done on the inside of our bodies, where we can’t see. So while the outside incisions may look good, I can still tell that something has changed and I am tender. I think that relaxing and taking it easy afterward is important and I am thankful to not be in the position that requires me to go to a job right away. Begin able to change my position is nice – when I was trying to expel the gas and when I become to feel too tender. I don’t think I would have many options if I was sitting at a desk and I think I would become uncomfortable quickly if I had a job that required a lot of standing.
Physically, aside from the gas, my biggest problem has been bending at the waist. It is somewhat uncomfortable for me to get in and out of bed, up and down from the sofa and no way could I walk our dogs – bending down to put on their leads or carry them up and down our stairs would be way to uncomfortable. My body prefers to be stretched out flat if possible. But bending isn’t a huge issue. I can do it, but it doesn’t feel great. You know how you do things all the time with your body and you don’t even register them? Like raise your hand or turn your head? Well, I am very aware of everything my stomach and abdomen are doing and that feels sort of strange.
We did go for a long car ride on Sunday and that was perhaps a mistake. It was bumpy and that did make me feel somewhat uncomfortable. (I had a balloon put in my uterus during one of the procedures and after the car ride, I could feel it, whereas I hadn’t previously. More on that balloon in a separate post.)
I had minor spotting the day of and the day after. 2 days after I began to think I was having more of an actual period. I took the BCP pill for a full cycle before the surgery and I spotted everyday of it, and so now I’m about a week and a half behind my normal schedule. I’m not sure what this will mean to my normal cycle, but I’ll continue to report on it. I am able to get away with a regular pad, which is a nice switch from what I’m used too (heavy, clotty periods). Also, I'm not sure if this bleeding is from stopping the BCP.
I think this pretty much covers it. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them. All in all, it has gone pretty smoothly procedure wise. I feel fine and I’m excited about being fully recovered.
My biggest tips would be:
Thanks for all your excitement and support! I told DH last night (I got a tiny pair of green converse for him to open) and he was totally shocked. Which I thought was funny, since he knew we were trying, etc...I think he just didn't think it could possibly happen any time soon.
I still can barely believe it...and I'll admit, I'm pretty nervous about the increased chance of miscarriage with PCOS. I'm trying really hard not to get too worried about it and just relax, but I don't know how I'm going to make it the next four or five weeks before I go see the doctor or midwife.
deborah - Oh man, I can't imagine how you must have felt. I'm sure she felt horrible once she realized it, but that sure doesn't take away the pain the remark must have caused you. Big hugs.
Sila - We got a total of 25 eggs, 1 fragmented, and 20 were mature. This morning they let me know that 16 fertilized normally!!
Charley - Wow, that sounds like quite the surgery! Thanks for letting us know how it all went down, I have to imagine it WILL help someone in the future that is going thrugh it too.
chica - what a cute way to tell him! So awesome!!! I will tell you that it was hard for me for the majority of my first pregnancy, I was afraid I was going to lose the baby. Just keep talking to all of us, it'll help get you through it!!
Just popping in, it has been a long time.
Chica - Yay!!! Congrats!
Deborah - sorry.
AFM - I don't keep up with this thread enough to know what is going on. Sorry. I am trying to not obsess about TTC and IF too much, and not posing on MDC has been part of that. As most of you know, if you stalk the IVF thread, my last IVF failed (zero fertilization). What a bummer. So we are moving on to something else, but not sure what that is yet. I have two appointments with two different REs on next Tuesday. We are open to anything - donor eggs, sperm, both, embryo doners, try with my own eggs again. I don't know. We are also waiting for a DNA sperm test that will tell us a lot more about his sperm. Just trying to keep my head up. Now that I have come to terms with donor eggs/sperm/embryos, I actually feel a lot more hopeful.
Thanks all for your support. Chica- Hang in there! In all likelihood, things will be fine. Any chance you can get in with your midwife sooner? Charley- I had a similar experience to yours when I had my lap done, but it was just the lap. The one thing I would warn you about is emotional recovery. I don't know if they are suppressing you for a while or not, but if you do, beware of emotional side effects. Even without the meds, it is still emotionally difficult to have gone through surgery. I didn't take time to address that and it was bad, so I just hope this is helpful not worrisome (e.g., making sure to address emotions so you don't have major problems down the road like I did).
Deborah - Sending good thoughts your way! I think of you often and hope that difficult situations/questions like the one that just happened are few and far between. I would love to see pictures of your studio, it sounds amazing!
Milk - Also wanted to say that I hope this break is just what you need to relax and recover, and we are here whenever you want to drop back by for support!
rcr - I've missed seeing you around! Sorry to hear that the IVF did not work out, but glad that you have lots of different options! I hope the choices will be clear and simple.
hope - 16 fertilized eggs! That's wonderful! What's the next step in the process?
This morning I called the OB/GYN office where I was diagnosed with PCOS. They are super busy and kinda blew me off; the earliest they wanted to make an appointment for was the last week of May! So I called the midwife I normally see for my yearly exam, and her office was super sweet. My first appointment is May 3rd, which is not far off at all! I think I'll feel a little less worried once I get past 18dpo (not totally sure why). But for now I just keep reminding myself that this is real!
Charley- It was so interesting to read your details. As you know my experience was very similar. Your tips are great! My few differences, in case anyone comes for reference- I needed lots of pillows to sleep, I couldn't lay on my side or flat for over a week, I was only comfortable slightly elevated, I did a bowel prep the day before which reduced post-op constipation from painkillers and kept me from 'real' puking after- I still had some nausea post-op. My understanding is you are distended because they fill your abdomen up with saline post-op to reduce development of scar tissue. Mine lasted about a week. The Gas pain totally $ucked... I had one bubble under my left rib that was there almost 2 weeks, the worst was over in 5 days but it is just an annoying type of pain. There is no way to effectively describe it until you've experienced it. I'm glad you didn't need the OXY too... I had vicodin that I took for 3 days and looking back I would agree I probably didn't need it- it was just too scary to 'let the pain get ahead of me' that I took it until I realized I probably never needed it, oh well. Anyway, just wanted to add my 2 cents, rest up and heal my friend, thank you for your detailed explanation. I can't wait to hear about your follow-up!
RCR- I've been IVF stalking you, sorry last cycle was such a disappointment. It sounds like you have a lot of options to consider now and hopefully your RE appointments will lead you in the best and quickest direction.
Chica- SO cute! It does seem like one of those things that could happen but we never expect will happen!
Hope- 16?!?! That is awesome! When is transfer day?! How many will you transfer?
Sila- Thank goodness for only a few more days, poor kiddo, poor DH, poor you! How was your stronger dose?
AFM- My follow-up is tomorrow. I can't believe it will be 3 weeks on Thursday. I am still spotting and it hasn't gotten much heavier. I really wish AF would hold off until Thursday since that give me a better chance of ovulating past CD 14 and that DH will be home for BD on O day!!! Pleeease no AF tomorrow, Pleeeeease.
Hope - WooHoo! If they continue to do so well, how many will you transfer? Are you planning on freezing any remaining embryos? Sorry if you've answered these things in the IVF thread...
Chica - Yay for midwife appt! Just take it day by day, you'll make it til then.
Charley - Wow, I'm interested to learn more details and see what all was done!
Cait - Wow that went by so fast! I hope it all works our with AF and your DH's schedule!
AFM - I've been in a complete Clomid fog most of the day. Including massive headache that seems like it finally wore off only a few hours before my next dose (Thanks for asking Cait!). Side effect already!?!?! I'm not complaining. I'm taking as as sign that it's working until proven otherwise. I started imagining that every throb of my head was a little guy with a bicycle pump pumping up my follicles...I might be losing it. I also realized that if we do happen to conceive this cycle, because I started Clomid on CD28 (!) I'll most likely be talked into getting an early u/s to confirm EDD and growth, which I was hoping to avoid...
Hope - I can't wait for a new report! could you change my blurb to:
rcr (38) TTC #2 since December 2007. Two failed IVFs, four canceled IVFs, five failed medicated IUI cycles. Considering donor eggs, sperm, or both. Trying to keep hope alive and not obsess about IF and TTC.
toothfairy - thanks for stalking me. I am going back and forth between donor eggs/sperm, and TTC with my own eggs. It is a tough decision. We have 2 more tries under our insurnace, so part of me wants to just exaust them with my own eggs, and if that does not work, try donor embryos at one of those cheaper places with a guarentee (like CA conceptions). Gah! I am so confused about what to do!
Deborah - it is looking great!
Chica - thanks for stalking me too! I can't wait until your next appointment!
rcr - Your plan sounds great! It seems like that's a great way to feel like you've explored every option, and hopefully you won't even get to the places where you need a guarantee (although that's definitely helpful)
deborah - I'm getting a 403 "forbidden" error when I click those links. Can you check it and post again! I really want to see the pics. :)
sila - love the bicycle pump idea, that's too funny! I hope the symptoms are just clear signs that it is indeed working!
cait - how goes it? Did AF stay away? How was the follow-up (if you've had it this morning already)?
chica - next step is transfer!! I can't believe the ob/gyn blew you off. Screw them, sounds like the midwife is going to be a better option!!
tf2b - Transfer is tomorrow! I'm not sure yet on how many we will transfer, it depends on how good they look and what the RE and embryologist think, then hubs and I will make a decision. I'm thinking 2, but I'm not sure. See my AFM below. How did the follow up go? Did AF come??
Sila - I think I'll answer it across the board in my AFM below LOL. Ugh, clomid fog and headache. ha ha ha at the bicycle pump pumping up your follies... I'm picturing that right now LOL
rcr - I'll update from home tonight!!
deborah - I'm also getting the forbidden error!!
AFM - 15 of the embabies are still growing and dividing and looking good. 8 specifically are looking real good at 4 or more cells. Transfer is tomorrow, have to be there by 11:30. We will talk to everyone and figure out how many to transfer, but right now I'm thinking 2. The rest we will freeze, fingers crossed that they make it to freeze. I'm scared, nervous, hopeful, excited. I don't know what to feel, but I'm worried that this will be a repeat of 2008 when our IVF failed. This cycle has been so much better though from the start, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!
Hope- Your results really sound amazing. I think I would go with two as well... but I'd love twins (even with all the extra worries) so do whatever your heart guides you to. Tomorrow is the big day! Yay!!!
rcr- That is a tough decision but if you still have insurance options I would think trying another cycle with your eggs and donor sperm may be beneficial. Especially since now they figured out what works for you to have mature eggs. When do you expect the results from DH genetic testing? Did they do the Sperm Penetration test too?
sila- Clomid fog, boo. The bicycle pumping is a great analogy... the side effects always reassured me it was doing it's job, so COME on follicles, make sila a perfect egg! Now just for that headache to go away...
deborah- didn't work over here either, I'd love to see the progress!
Chica- that seems really insensitive of the OB office, not sure you realy want them working with you if that is their attitude for everything, ya know. Your midwife sounds much better. I can't wait for your appointment. Christmas baby love.
AFM- No AF yet which means my chances of DH being home sometime around my next ovulation is pretty good as long as I don't O early. So... to self medicate with femara or to not self medicate with femara, that is the question... I need to look back at my cycles and see when I O'd on the drugs to know if I should try it. I also found out my rules were no exercise and no intercourse for 6 weeks, not just no TTC for 6 weeks. Oops... I didn't tell the doc we already DTD, hehe. Other than that I saw some pictures, found out I was actually only Stage 2 endo. I had Endo in my pelvis, bladder, left ureter, right broad & round ligamant, and the anterior fold of my uterus. My left ovary was adherant to the pelvis. Most of this I knew from the video, but it is different reading the clinical note. So I am free and clear from endometriosis. Interesting thing... he went over that most pregnancies after laproscopy occur 6-9 months after. Turns out, even though the endo is gone your body still has to remove the toxins and inflammation present which takes time. He said the first 3 months are very unlikely and to not get worried if it doesn't happen immediately but that he is confident in our chances from here on out. I feel more relaxed knowing this, I was expecting our best chances were like NOW, not 6 months from now.
Try this one: https://plus.google.com/photos/112949134437985540063/albums/5728346470249451905?authkey=CPqWy4P9x8zhGg. If there weren't 32 pictures, I'd just upload them all.
Sila - I'm so excited about you getting the surprise early start to Clomid. For all the times we have to wait longer than expected for stuff, for once it's the other way around! Good job sticking up for yourself and asking for 100mg. Grow follies grow! Med side effects are so much easier to live with if you believe that the meds are working, I love your bicycle pump analogy.
Hope - I don't have to get back into the swing of TTC for a while yet with my laparoscopy, and I'm taking the cycle after my lap off too. I'm planning to distract myself from TTC by hiring some people to do small renovations on our house, and learning how to garden. We moved into our house last fall so now that winter's over we can start doing all kind of stuff with it. Wow your egg retrieval results sound pretty fabulous, you really have some superstar ovaries girl! Good luck with your transfer tomorrow!!!!
deborah - what kind of games do you play at your game nights? Game nights are one of my favourite passtimes. I'm glad you were able to have that big cry, it sounds like it was very therapeutic. Thanks for the warning about emotional healing from surgery, I had never realised this could be needed! I think I'll bring it up with my therapist at my appointment today.
Charley - thanks for your detailed description of your lap! I really appreciate it, especially the advice at the end! Can't wait to hear all about what they found. I'd also like to know more about what happened with the anesthesia. I believe you that your reaction was rare but I like to know all possible outcomes so I can be mentally prepared!
chica - what a cute way to tell your husband! I would never be able to keep a BFP secret from my husband for more than 1 millisecond so cute announcements are out for me. Even my parents and siblings and my MIL will all be told of the BFP within 5 minutes of it happening. Hooray for a May 3rd appointment! That's so soon!
rcr - Hi! I stalk the IVF thread all the time so I've been following your latest cycle and all the disappointment, I was really rooting for you :( It sounds like you are facing some extremely tough decisions right now. I like to imagine that if ever I needed donor eggs, I could convince my youngest sister to donate because she's 10 years younger than me and we have very similar looks and personalities (much more than any of my other siblings) so I could still have a baby who looks like me! But I suppose the whole mother/aunt confusion would be pretty weird. I love reading about the crazy stuff they can do with IF treatments these days, its so fascinating. For example the one about the mother who was a surrogate for her daughter (aka she was pregnant with her grandchild). Absolutely nuts! Also in crazy/fascinating tidbits, Celine Dion's acupuncturist works at my fertility clinic and we can hire her for our IVF treatments (I bet her fees are exorbitant)! Apparently when Celine was doing IVF she would fly to New York for the IVF and then to Montreal for the acupuncture. It sounds pretty exhausting but I guess things like that are easier when you have your own private jet.
toothfairy - thanks for your lap tips too! Mine is coming so soon, it's hard to believe... only 1 week to go! I always O a lot earlier on Femara but I guess we're all different, it may not be the same for you! Very interesting about the chances of getting pregnant in the first 3 months... though I've heard of plenty of anecdotes about people getting pregnant 1-2 months after lap, but anecdotes are not very good scientific evidence I guess!
AFM - I had my pre-operatory appointment this morning at the hospital. They did a bunch of tests and I got to talk to a nurse and ask all my questions. One of the tests was getting my weight... I almost fell down when the nurse told me my weight... I gained 5 lbs on my cruise! I've been the same weight since I was 17 so this is a big deal. I was so excited! I guess 1 week of non-stop eating paid off!
I don't have to do much in preparation for my surgery. Avoid all meds (especially aspirin & ibuprofen), don't eat or drink anything starting at midnight the night before. No shaving required, no bowel cleanse, nothing. I don't know exactly what time my surgery will be but they said definitely before noon. I have to be at the hospital at 6:30 am though, which is insane. I am not a morning person.
After the surgery I have to wait 1 week to excercise. I'm allowed to BD as soon as any spotting I have from the lap stops, but since the lap is a couple of days before AF is due I'll probably have to wait until after AF ends. We can TTC right away next cycle (though I won't be taking any meds). The nurse seemed pretty surprised that the doctor said I'd have 2 weeks off work, apparently they usually give 1. I hope I end up getting 2 cause I've already told my boss and everyone.