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Avatar universal

Suggested recovery time for laparotomy

I had bilateral endemetriomas removed from my ovaries along with extensive adhesions due to advanced endemetriosis 6 weeks ago and now I am scheduled to return to work but I just don't think I am physically ready yet but I don't know if my surgeon will extend my authorization for more sick leave. Could you all advise me as to how long your surgeon's gave you off of work for a laparotomy.
23 Responses
Avatar universal
I was given 6 weeks off on doctor's orders and returned to work then.  I, too, was not completely ready and those first two weeks back were a bit rough for me.  If 8 weeks off were possible, I would have been happier.

Then my employer lied about his sympathy.  I got laid off a month after returning from surgery and have been struggling to find a new job ever since that time.
Avatar universal
so what is the difference between a laproscopic surgery and this laparatomy? Which is the kind of surgery that folks seem to feel a few days doesn't make it for feeling better, that it takes up to 2 months, I think it was laproscopic, right?
Avatar universal
No, laparotomy is bigger surgery than laparoscopy.  Laparatomy is a full incision of 4 inches or so, also called open surgery (easier for the surgeon to work, harder on the patient to heal).  

Laparoscopy is two, three or four smaller incisions and requires more advanced trickery to get the job done.  The smaller incisions heal faster (externally) than the larger incision of laparotomy.  

Internally, it takes about the same amount of time to heal from either procedure but many judge their recovery on how long the external incisions take to heal.  Bigger incisions cut through more tissue and muscle and those don't repair that quickly.

Many seem to feel that two weeks is enough for laparoscopy.  Laparotomy minimally takes about 6 weeks.  That's the general guideline to take time off from work, but in reality, full healing still takes a bit longer for either procedure.  
Avatar universal
I find it terrible that your employer would lay you for something like that. I am not sure where you are from but there must be laws to protect you. In Canada when someone is on sick leave they cannot be laid off for 3 months after they return to work. Could you not take action against the company.  It must not of been your employer paying you your salary during your leave but rather the insurance company. I can only say that things usually happen for a reason and I am sure there is something much better waiting for you. I hope that you are feeling better and remember your health is the most important thing, there is no price for that.
Avatar universal
Yes, we have laws, but they apply to employers of 50+ employees within a 75 mile area.  Our office employed under that amount so the laws did not apply. I don't think our laws cover 3 months after you return either.  Canada sure has the right idea.

Insurance did not pay for my time off.  I used my accumulated sick time benefits.  I had about 9 weeks of entitlement and used 6 of them (until surgery, I never took a sick day, as you can tell).

I'm still waiting to see how this will play out and where I will be eventually working.  Hopefully at something better.  As it stands, I have been doing an exhaustive job hunt for 4.5 months and have nothing to show for it yet.  Now I wonder if age discrimination is a factor but there's no way to prove it.  I love how it's illegal to discriminate based on age, but workers that are over age 40 still have no leg to stand on when we feel we've been victims.  

I have another "handicap" so to speak for which there are no discrimination laws.  I do not have the classic U.S. southern accent since I was not born in the south.  For some here, there's still a north vs. south mentality and I sound like someone from the north.  Only bigger companies have no problem with that (in fact, they will like my northern origins), but forget the businesses run by natives of the south.  They won't hire me.  

Then there's another problem.  Most companies that are hiring here are in healthcare and related business.  Most of my recent experience is in entertainment, tourism and media companies.  The healthcare companies don't seem to think I'm relevant even though I'm just applying to office administration positions.

Sometimes I just want to move elsewhere, but my husband has a job that also took him a LONG time to find and I wouldn't want the both of us to be out of work by moving.

Thanks for asking and caring.  How are you feeling now in your post-laparotomy recovery?  Hopefully a LOT better!
Avatar universal
I am 8 weeks post op and although I do feel better unfortunately the initial pains I was having that sent me to the doctor in the first place are still there. It is a bit frustrating because I was sure once the endo and the cysts were gone I would of been fine. At first the surgeon wanted to take my gallbladder out because I have stones but now he is suspecting irritable bowel syndrome instead which apparently can go hand in hand with endo. He has cancelled the gallbladder removal for the moment. I am going for a colonoscopy next Monday and if they don't find anything serious then he will send me to a gastroenterologist with the suspicision that it is irritable bowel syndrome. I am still really tired though and due back at work next week but tomorrow is my follow up with my gynecologist and I hope I can get a couple of more weeks off.

Keep me up to date on how things go with your job search ! Take care and I know that things will work out for the better for you hugs Johanne
Avatar universal
I had a laparotomy to remove a 6cm endometrioma from my right ovary.

Today is the beginning of my 7th week.

My abdomen is still somewhat bloated and swollen. The wound still hurts when I try to wear any kind of pants (I'm still wearing dresses).

My gyn told me the stomach bloating will take around 3 months to go away, and the muscles that develop around the wound will also take around 3 months to disappear. That's why the meat above the wound is puffy right now.

Avatar universal
I also have to mention that when I feel bloated (which gets worse at night), I do feel like something is pulling behind my belly button.

I don't know if anyone has also experienced this.

Avatar universal
How wonderful to know that the terrible bloating I still feel in my 8th week is normal. I have not seen my gynecologist yet since my surgery (tomorrow I will see her) but I was sure after 2 months I was going to stay like this as a result of the surgery itself. Good to know that it may take another month before the swelling disappears. Have you returned to work yet ? I also can't seem to get into my pants either and as you say it gets worst at night. Please give me any other info you might have. Hope you are feeling better.
Avatar universal
Hello,  I am new to this website and forum.  I had laprascopic surgery two weeks ago.  I had an endometrioma cyst on my ovary and a smaller partially hemorraged cyst adjacent to it.  I also found out I have had endometriosis and did not know it.  They removed the adhesions but the damage to my left ovary was so bad it had to be removed along with my left fallopian tube.

I am just returning to work this week and am still sore.  I am also still bloated and found a couple pairs of drawstring pants that I am trying to dress up since I work in an office environment.  I was too wondering when this bloating will go away.  I guess it takes time.

I am wondering if anyone with similar surgery also experienced digestive issues?  Just wondering when my stool will be normal again.

Avatar universal
Wow I am surprised you returned to work so quickly, how are you doing ? Two weeks doesn't seem long to me even if it was done by laproscopy. Did you have digestive issues before the surgery? Since you seem to have endometriosis like me this can be a symptom. If you were ok before the surgery I am sure it will fall into place in a couple of weeks, sometimes the preparation for the surgery can upset our digestive tract and this can cause irritable bowel type symptoms.
Avatar universal
No, I did not have digestive issue before surgery and I have been off the antibiotics for a week now since they tend to cause digestive issues.  I made a follow-up appt with my obgyn this coming Monday so I'll mention it to her if I am still having trouble.  I decided to try a bland diet for now (BRAT) and see if that works.  I also wonder if it is due to the stress of being back to work and trying to handle my usual routine.  I'm trying to take it easy and decided to telecommute today.  Driving on the pot-holed roads in MI can be painfull. :)

Did you have Laproscopy too or Laprotomy?  Did you always have pain from the endomitriosis?  I had some painful periods but not how some people have been describing their pain.  I had no idea I had endomitriosos.
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