Tips prior to endometriosis surgery

by Ellen Johnson and Lone Hummelshoj

Waiting for surgery can be an intense time, not least if you are nervous about the procedure and stressing to do too much prior to your laparoscopy.  Here are some tips of how to prepare!

Calming yourself

Firstly you may simply wish to read about surgery for endometriosis: what is it, and how is it carried out?  Our comprehensive article explains it all, including the different surgical procedures.

→ Surgery for endometriosis

You may also want to use “guided imagery” or “guided meditation” CDs before, during, and after surgery. These are CDs that use words and music to take you on an inner journey. Surgical support guided imagery CDs encourage the body to relax, to respond well to the surgery, and to heal.

Research has shown that patients who use surgical support guided imagery tapes fare better before and after surgery. The Monroe Institute reports that:

benefits include reduced anxiety, stabilised blood pressure, minimised need for anaesthesia and pain medication, and quicker recuperation.

Reassuring yourself

Prepare yourself for surgery – and the aftermath – by following a few, simple, suggestions:

  • Make a list of your fears and concerns and discuss them with your doctor, nurse, and/or anaesthetist.
  • Talk about your apprehensions with others; avoid holding things inside – be honest about how you feel.
  • Ask friends and loved ones to remain positive and say affirming things about your decision.
  • Simplify your life! Don’t put social pressures on yourself for a few weeks leading up to surgery. Don’t commit to doing anything new or stressful that you don’t want to do.
  • Keep yourself healthy by maintaining a good diet. Avoid refined sugar and increase your daily intake of fruit, vegetables, and fibre.
  • Ask your doctor about taking supplements that will help build your immune system. (However, don’t start taking anything new without talking with your doctor first. Some supplements are definite no-nos prior to surgery.)
  • Eliminate caffeine. You may experience caffeine-withdrawal headache after surgery if you are unable to have anything by mouth. You may want to talk with your doctor about how to counteract this effect. If you can wean yourself off caffeine before the surgery, that’s best.
  • Eliminate alcohol. Your body doesn’t need the extra burden of eliminating toxins from your system prior to surgery.
  • Take a couple of hours to tidy up your home (fresh bed linen and towels!); get some groceries in (even if it is ready-made meals to tidy you over for a few days); make sure the plants are watered (perhaps treat yourself to a fresh bunch of flowers!?); get some books, magazines, DVDs in, so that you can truly recuperate in a stress-free environment with some “entertainment” within easy reach as you nurse yourself back to health
  • Relax as much as possible.
  • Spend quality time with yourself and your loved ones.
  • Think of your surgical team as healers. Have faith that they will do their best to help you.
See also

→ How to find a specialist
→ Surgery for endometriosis
→ Laparoscopy: before/after tips
→ How to survive a bowel preparation
Life style factors affect infertility and IVF success

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