If you have not already done so and are preparing to have surgery, read the following articles on my blog:
Just to fill you in – I have thyroid issues that I explain in my article “Living with Hashimoto’s”. October 2018 I started to see an internal functional medical doctor and throughout my visits, I disclosed that I would like to have another child.
This is how I ended up with a fertility specialist and having surgery to remove my endometriosis.I knew I had a pretty good chance I had it because my mom had it and my grandma did as well. My mom had a hysterectomy in her mid-forties and that is when she discovered she had endometriosis.
I give you this background because my fertility doctor performed the surgery and some of the questions in this article are about fertility if you are having the surgery for the same reason. There are a few reasons why women elect to have endometriosis surgery, one to help chances of conceiving and another big one to reduce the number of symptoms (bloating, pain, etc.).
In the referenced articles above I review my experience before and following the surgery. In this article, I am going to talk about what to expect at the post-appointment and questions you may want to ask.
I had my post-surgery appointment two weeks following surgery. One of the big questions I asked before was when I could return to exercising and my doctor told me 2 weeks. However, everyone is different so make sure you ask about your specific situation. I have anxiety bad so exercising plays a very important part in my mental health. I notice that if I do not run I have nowhere for my anxiety to go and I become stressed, fatigued, and let’s just say I am not a very nice person to be around!
Following surgery, your doctor will provide instructions that will be very important to follow. An example of mine was to avoid taking a bath and swimming for a certain amount of weeks outlined when I could take a shower, how often to take my meds, and when to switch the bandages. Make sure if you are having sex, you understand when you can return to this activity! Not like you will be in the mood but at least you know!
By the time of my appointment, I was feeling great. I was back to sleeping on my side. Yes, side sleepers I know you feel my pain! I did not have a good night sleep for at least a week and a half! I had just reached the two-week mark so I had not started working out and wanted to double-check with my doctor to ensure it was okay.
When I showed up at my post-surgery appointment my doctor reviewed the pictures he gave me following surgery in detail. It was nice that my doctor provided pictures following the surgery because I knew what he did during surgery and helped me understand until I waited for the post-surgery appointment. My doctor also looked at the incisions to ensure they were healing properly.
My doctor was clear what stage endo I had and why I fell into that stage. I ended up having stage 2 because it was really bad near my rectum and a lot had to be removed.
Also, make sure you understand other findings. For example, my doctor removed a couple of cysts near my ovary and I had a benign tumor removed from my uterus. I have had two cysts burst on me while working out – BTW is no fun– so I knew I had these. I had no idea I had a tumor but luckily it is one that rarely comes back.
My biggest question was removing the endometriosis part of the reason why my husband and I had not gotten pregnant. My doctor said it is a contributing factor. I have a follow-up in four months if I am not pregnant within this time. Please note that everyone is different. If you have stage 4 endo, the doctor may allow you more time to heal and larger time frame to conceive.
When you have a post-surgery appointment I recommend you write down your questions to ensure you use the time you have wisely. Here are some additional questions you can ask during your appointment:
- How to reduce your chance of endometriosis from coming back.
- If you lift weights or have a job that requires heavy lifting, should you refrain from heavy lifting and for how long?
- What are the chances of getting pregnant? When can you start trying? Is there an estimate of when to expect to conceive based on the stage endo found.
- Do you need a follow-up appointment?
- Are there additional supplements, medications to take to help the fertility process?
- Are there certain foods to avoid?
- If you are still feeling discomfort, what can you do to speed the recovery?
- Are there any follow-up treatments?
- If you are flying soon, check and see if that is okay.
- If you need a support group, ask your doctor. They will typically know about these groups and can provide more information.
- If you are involved in other activities, like sports, check and see if it is okay to return.
- What to expect for your next period. Everyone is different but the doctor may be able to tell you based on the findings if your period will be heavy or should be on the lighter side.