Going in for a surgery for Endometriosis? Not sure what to ask? Here’s a list of questions you may want to bring with you.
Some of these may seem like common sense…but it’s good to have them written down to ask. You may forget while overwhelmed or in a fog! Feel free to add to these! Have any suggestions you’d like me to add? Drop me a comment below. 🙂
Pre-Op Appointment Questions:
What will you do if you open me up and see Endometriosis? (Ask this, because many women have their diagnostic surgery and NONE of the endo is removed – just a confirmed diagnosis and a referral to another doctor to deal with the Endo).
Do you plan to excise (cut out) the Endo or burn (ablation) them? (Excision is considered the best way to deal with it as ablation may not get all of the lesion. Some surgeons only burn away the lesion if it’s in a difficult location to cut. Some surgeons ONLY use ablation and do not cut away the lesions.)
Will you remove adhesions? (Adhesions are scar tissue, oftentimes spider-web like and can twist organs or weave them together).
What’s the worst case scenario?
Will you take photographs or video? If yes, may I have a copy? (if you get photographs, make sure they’re labeled so you know what you’re looking at)
If you find Endometriosis on other organs, such as my bowels, bladder, liver, ureter, diaphragm, etc., are will you be able to remove it? Or will you call in a specialist to assist with the surgery? Or will a second surgery need to be scheduled to handle it?
May I have any painkiller and/or anti-nausea medications filled prior to the surgery date?
Anything you can do to lessen the gas pain that occurs in my right shoulder? Tilt my head? Warm gas? Expel more gas before closing me up? What are the complications of any of these methods? (This may help with the shoulder pain many women complain about after a laparoscopy.)
How long do you expect the surgery to last? Any way someone can update my (person who is in the waiting room) as they wait in the lobby once surgery begins? (My first surgery they expected surgery to last 1.5 hours and it lasted 4; nobody updated them on status and it was stressful and worrisome for them.)
Any “best” position to sleep while recovering?
Anything I can do to make this surgery easier on you?
Before Discharged from Hospital Questions:
What did you find?
Is it normal for my incisions to bleed or ooze?
How long shall I keep on the bandages?
What do I do if a stitch/staple/glue edge sticks out?
Make sure you get the telephone number for the Nurse or Doctor in case of emergencies. They generally have it written on a sheet of paper. Put that somewhere handy!
Make sure you understand the restrictions while healing. Every surgeon is different. You may not be able to lift something over a certain amount of weight for a few weeks, etc.
Post-Op Visit Questions:
May I have a copy of the photographs/video taken during surgery (yeah, I know we asked that in pre-op…but no harm at your post-op)
What Stage of Endometriosis do I have? (there are four stages…each stage depicts a level of infiltration, but not necessary dictates your levels of pain. You can have Stage I Endo with SO MUCH PAIN or Stage IV Endo with no pain whatsoever. It’s just something good to know.)
How long until we can have sex? Swim? Go to gym? Return to work?