Candidates for laparoscopic treatment for endometriosis typically have suspected endometriosis with severe symptoms such as pain, ovarian cysts, and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Candidates who may have suspected endometriosis that is less severe may wish to use a hormonal course of treatment instead.
A preoperative assessment discussing treatment, anesthesia, and hospital stay should be scheduled in order to prepare mentally for the procedure. Any blood thinners such as aspirin and other pain relievers should be discontinued 7 days before the procedure to reduce risk of bleeding. If you can, quit smoking, as this will also reduce your risk of excessive bleeding.
You will typically take one or more enemas the night before and the morning of the procedure. Your doctor will likely have you stop eating and drinking the night before surgery.
Laparoscopic treatment for endometriosis typically requires only an overnight stay in the hospital, during which a urinary catheter will likely be inserted. You may experience nausea and shoulder pain, which is caused by bubbles of carbon dioxide gas becoming trapped against the diaphragm. That and other pain can typically be relieved by over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. Light spotting and bleeding can occur in the first few days after the procedure, and is normal. Avoid strenuous exercise and intercourse for 4 to 6 weeks. Light exercise, however, is encouraged in order to avoid blood clots and build stamina. Fatigue is common in the first few days after surgery, but will subside with time. Patients can return to work 1 to 7 days after the procedure, but should refrain from strenuous activity.
Although laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis is relatively low-risk and minimally invasive, risks include excessive bleeding, formation of scar tissue, infection of the bladder, uterus or incision sites, or damage to the bowel, bladder or ureter (the duct by which urine passes from the kidney to the bladder). As with any surgery performed under general anesthesia, there is a risk of anesthesia-related complications or allergic reactions to surgical medications. Symptoms of endometriosis may not improve even after surgery.