A solid endo surgery prep can make or break you. The combination of pre-surgery anxiety, fear of what’s going to happen, and the recovery process can cause overwhelm. And, this is why I do not recommend going through this process alone. In addition to working with your surgical team, it’s also important to create a support system of trustworthy people to assist you during this process.
Endo Surgery Prep Tips
Designate A Caretaker
You, the patient, are responsible for doing your part in preparing for surgery. Hence, having a support system of trusted friends and family can help make endo surgery prep less difficult. Additionally, choosing one dedicated caretaker to accompany you to pre-op appointments, speak with the surgeon and staff about assisting you in surgery prep. And understanding what’s expected of them on the day of surgery is beneficial.
When choosing your support system and dedicated caretaker, prioritize selecting responsible, dependable people–especially when choosing a caretaker for endo surgery prep and recovery. You’ll be vulnerable and will need to trust the person in charge of caring for you. So, choose wisely.
Before assigning this role, outline expectations, responsibilities, and how you need to be supported. Be clear about what you expect in advance. This eliminates confusion pre and post-surgery, making the recovery process smoother.
Get Organized Beforehand
Go over your endo surgery prep instructions with your support system and dedicated caregiver. You can task certain people to help you with certain things. For instance, designating someone to remind you when to discontinue taking medications before your surgery. Or having someone purchase the recommended foods for your pre-surgery fast and bowel prep materials.
Additionally, enlist your support system’s help to help prepare freezer meals beforehand for your recovery. Or, assign someone the task of getting groceries and helping out with meals and household chores during your recovery.
Post-surgery recovery is another part of endo surgery prep. Knowing what will happen in advance eliminates confusion. Is it best to recover at a family member’s home? Or, would you feel more comfortable recovering at your house? Do you need your entire support system there or just the one person you’re tasking to be your dedicated caretaker? Determine which is best and plan for it.
Create a recovery sanctuary that’s peaceful, quiet, and comfortable with easy bathroom access. Keep items such as an iPad, books, a sound machine, magazines, or other entertainment favorites. Additional items for a cozy atmosphere include extra pillows for back support. This keeps you in an elevated position to relieve abdominal discomfort. Heating pads and tens units can alleviate lower back pain and aches. However, avoid use on the abdomen. Check with your surgeon to determine if it’s safe to do so.
Lastly, mobility aids can be extremely helpful post-surgery. This is especially beneficial for laparotomy patients. Due to the incision’s location and size, core musculature becomes weak, making it challenging to stand upright and walk. A cane or walker can improve mobility and assist with recovery.
What to Pack In Your Hospital Bag?
Typically you can expect to spend at least one night in the hospital after surgery. This varies depending on the surgery type. Generally, minimally invasive procedures like laparoscopy require a shorter overnight stay. In contrast, significant surgeries like laparotomy require a 2-3 day stay. Your surgeon will let you know in advance how long of a stay they’re recommending and what essentials you may want to bring.
Your designated caretaker can help you with this task. At least 2-3 days before surgery, begin packing a small to medium overnight bag with essential items. You may want to pack toothpaste, a toothbrush, body cleanser, face wash, lotion, and deodorant.
Other items to pack include extra pillows, a blanket, a book, magazines, earplugs, a sleep mask, underwear, nightshirts (preferably button-down ones), a robe, and slippers.
.Something else to include is pads or period underwear. Post-surgery spotting or bleeding is common. However, tampons, menstrual cups, and menstrual discs are contraindicated. So, packing the above supplies will manage any slight bleeding or spotting.
Another great addition to your overnight bag is personal identification for you and your caretaker, insurance information, a list of other conditions or illnesses, and a list of allergies. Usually, allergies and illnesses are discussed in advance. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a few copies just in case.
The fundamentals of endo surgery prep can quickly become complicated. This is why working with a qualified surgeon is valuable. They’ll provide step-by-step instructions to make the process simple. And their surgical team should be an extension of the quality service your surgeon provides.
Creating a support system and designating a caretaker is a powerful endo surgery prep tool. Your support system can help with adherence to pre and post-surgery protocols and aid in preparing you for pre and post-surgery recovery. However, when choosing your support system and caretaker, select reliable, trustworthy, and dependable people. Remember you’ll be vulnerable during this process, and you need someone that can help ease your recovery. (see also My Laparotomy and Little Known Info I Wish I Knew)