Handy tips after a laparotomy cyst removal

Posted , 48 users are following.

Having had a laparotomy a few weeks ago I have been asked lots of questions on this forum regarding my recovery. I thought it may help anyone who has just had the operation to remove cysts (including a laparoscopy) or facing the operation in the near future to have a few ideas to help them. Everyone's experience is different, but there does seem to be similar problems after the operation, so hope this helps ladies smile -

1. You will feel tired, bloated and in pain after the operation. I felt very nauseas for a few days and unable to eat. This is normal and is the effect of the anaesthetic used during the operation combined with strong painkillers. It will pass after a few days, try to sip water frequently to flush out the toxins.

2. The nursing staff are very helpful and concerned with your wellbeing. If you don't feel ready to go home, say so, you know your body better than anyone. I stayed in for 7 days in the end as I was in a lot of pain and had severe swelling. Don't be afraid to ask!

3 The nursing staff will remove the dressings after 3 days and if like me you have ster-strips underneath these will come off on day 5 or 6. When I removed mine the wound bled a little, but it was nothing serious and the nurse put a temporary bandage on for 2 days until it stopped. You will be shocked at the size of the wound. Mine reached from my pubic bone to above my belly button. It does start to look better after a few weeks and once healed, I will be using lots of bio oil to help it fade.

4. You will have trouble having a bowel movement. Constipations normal following a major operation, a combination of painkillers and lack of movement. Drink plenty of fluids combined with a healthy diet (lots of fruit & vegetables). Try to move around as much as possible. Go for short walks once you feel stronger at least once a day. If like me you still haven't been after several days you could try LAXIDO and or LACTULOSE, both effective at clearing any blockage. It worked for me smile

5. Take the painkillers they give you, they will help. Try to take them at the start of the pain, not when it has you in its grip (not so effective). Only stop them when you feel you can cope without them, don't try and be brave.

6. If you have had your ovaries removed you will suddenly go into the menopause. I am having terrible night sweats now, which keep waking me up sad I bought a summer quilt 4.5 tog and am using a fan, to keep cool, it helps. I am trying to cope without HRT due to a family history of female cancer and will be trying natural herbal supplements instead. Hope they help smile

7. Lets be honest it will hurt and I am only starting to feel better after 3 weeks. I expect to be off work for at least another month, as my job is quite physical, and my muscles/wound are far from healed, but every day I feel stronger and I am off the painkillers now. I go for a short walk every day and potter around the house. My wound is healing nicely (its not pretty) but at least my alien is gone!

Good luck everyone X

11 likes, 80 replies

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80 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, thanks for the heads up!

    I'm going in tomorrow to have both ovaries with dermoid cysts removed, I just can't wait for them to come out as I have been in so much pain.

    Apparently I'll be in at 8am and home the same day!

    We shall see!

    Hope your recovery continues well xx

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    • Posted

      I have dermoid cysts on both ovaries - I am hoping to save my ovaries as I really want children in the near future. What was their reasoning in taking both of your ovaries?
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    • Posted


      I have had dermoids removed off both ovaries (they were about 10cm wide each!!) and my ovaries were both saved thankfully! I now have two half ovaries and am almost 3 months post op. I still get swelling when I do too much but other than that it's pretty good. And I needed a second surgery too due to complications! Hope you are well xx

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    • Posted


      I got my ultrasound and MRI done and an ovarian cyst measuring 3cms got detected.

      I'll have to undergo surgery is what the radiologist said. I didn't see a gyno yet. I'm worried about the questions the gyno would ask me. My dad would accompany me to gyno and I'd be uncomfortable answering if they ask questions like

      1. Are you virgin?

      Which I'm not (unmarried)and in India not being a virgin before marriage is a very unacceptable thing (dad would be around and know this)

      2. Are you sexually active? Not really I tease myself.

      Are these the mandatory questions a gynecologist would ask me? Can I say I'm a virgin?

      Also, how would the surgery be performed?

      Do they go through vagina?

      I'd really appreciate your help if you can respond within 24hours I'm due to see a gyno tomorrow

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    • Posted

      Hi there.

      From my experience I was diagnosed in the ER with lower pelvic pain which they performed an ultra vaginal ultra sound and found a 6.1cm dermoid cyst on my left ovary and a 1cm on my right which I only had the left ovary and fallopian tube surgically removed on December 12, 2016.

      After I was diagnosed, I was referred to a gynecologist. I took the ultrasound and the paperwork they gave me in the ER just so the gyno won't have to perform the same routine they already did in the ER.

      As far as questions she just asked if I had pain but no personal questions if I'm a virgin or not, I don't think they care for that UNLESS of course it's your first pelvic exam then it's best to let them know if you are or aren't.

      Also, just a suggestion if you have a 3cm cyst you don't necessarily need surgery. Anything under 5cm can dissolve on their own (according to my gyno) maybe ask for alternatives like getting on birth control, that always helps with ovarian cysts. By the time I had the surgery (laparoscopic) the cyst I had on my right ovary had dissappeared.

      I had a laparoscopic procedure done which they do 3 small incisions on your abdomen, 1 in your belly button for the camera and the other 2 on your abdomen to inflate you with gas and the other to put in their tools. Its the best thing and you heal faster. You should look it up online. I must say, my uterus vagina did feel sore, like I'd been having sex for hours lol

      If you do end up getting surgery you will be fine, trust me. I am the queen of anxiety and panic attacks. I literally felt I

      was asleep for 10 min lol! I will say, the worst part is the gas pain. All you will want to do is lay down but you need to keep walking and moving to get rid of it.

      P.S if it makes you feel more comfortable, you should go in and talk to your gyno by yourself and have your father wait outside. Any questions he may have he can ask afterwards.

      Anything else don't hesitate to reply.Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Monica,

      Thank you loads for helping me get over my anxiety to a good extent. I'm sorry I failed to mention it is 3cm ovarian dermoid cyst and I cannot escape surgery.

      I just hope gyno won't ask me personal questions (those that I mentioned in my earlier query) and I hope Doctor enquires all this (if at all) in private. This is my first surgery ever and I'm 27 year old unmarried and not a virgin 👻

      Thank you loads again, Monica for clarifying the surgery would be on my belly.

      Loads of love to you!!


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    • Posted

      oh yeah, dermoid cysts don't go away. I have heard on how to dissolve them naturally by placing castor oil packs. I learned this before surgery so I didn't have time to try it. According a woman I spoke to, that's how she got rid of hers.

      No worries on going through the surgery. I am 31 and it was my first surgery. I would recommend buying the sea bands for nausea. Put them on before surgery, it helped me tremendously afterwards. Even though you get medication for nausea but I still wore them.

      Do let the anesthesiologist know it's your first surgery. They will make you feel very relaxed.

      I honestly think the experience had to do with the staff. My boyfriend had a laparoscopic surgery a few weeks before me (hernia) at a different hospital and he was suffering the moment he woke up from surgery, that's when I was so scared that I would go through that. But my experience went smoothly and great.

      If anything, you may experience shakiness when you wake up but that's normal, it's the anesthesia.

      Please do let me know how everything goes. I was like you asking A LOT of questions here and other sites as well. So now that it's over, I like to share my experience and hope to help others.

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    • Posted

      Hi hope you are well recovered. I would just like to ask you how you felt after surgery. I had a 10 cm x 8.6 cm ovarian. Cyst and both ivarid removed 48 hours ago. I needed several hours of surgery to get through all the adhesions. Also had to have stents out into both kidney uretas . The cyst in left ovary was wrapped riu d this and bowel and of course I stay. I have not long been home and feel dreadful. I seem to be swollen.everywhere and weigh just shy of a stone heavier than I did 48 hrs ago. I have had to start intermittent self catheterisation again after not requiring it for 15 months as am not emptying my bladder very well. Ward staff didn't seem to give a crap and am now home alone wondering if everything is actually OK. Stomach very hard . Should I actually be a stone heavier after surgery . Please any advice would be Fabulous xx

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  • Posted

    Hi hope your well

    I've really found site useful and your post, going in soon for hysterectomy and cyst removed , I'm 41 with a daughter 13 and son 8 , ive saved your post , since Xmas house hasnt been much fun worring over suspicious cyst and pending op , hope all goes well for us both and I can live my life 100 percent once recovered take care

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  • Posted

    Thankyou Jenny ,

    Your,what to expect advice has really helped!! I am 5 days into recovering from having a 12cm dermoid cyst removed along with my left ovary.

    I'm 30 and haven't started a family yet, so I can't wait to get past this and hopefully have my baby's before hell breaks loose on my other ovary,as they have warned me I may get a cyst on the other at some point.

    I am experiencing the symptoms you have posted ,but it has been really helpful to know I'm not on my own.

    What us women have to go through hey!!!!!

    Good job we are made of tough stuff!!!!

    Thankyou again!!

    They told me in pre op I would feel like I have been hit by a bus, but it's nice to get a realistic view on the after shock of it all.

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    • Posted

      Hope your recovery is still going well Hannah!  Are you feeling better each day or are you still having lots of pain?  Any additional tips you would recommend in addition to what Jenny has put?  I'm getting ready to have this same surgery in a couple weeks and am scared out of my mind, but know I need to have it done.  Never had a surgery before! 


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    • Posted


      It's normal to be scared but I'm telling you now I would rather go through surgery again than have to try go to the toilet 3days after for a poo!!

      The pain from being sat on the toilet when I got home was dreadful,I wish I had known , all the morphine and anaesthetic bungs you up.

      Once i had the first lot of poo out the way for the first few days of being home I was back to being regular as clock work. But I have never known pain like it!!!!

      And your stomach will be very bloated for the first week!!

      I would have some natural laxatives and prunes ready to take soon as you can when you get home!!

      The cocktail of meds and drugs play havoc with your bowels !!

      its day 12for me post op and I stopped my painkillers yesterday, I'm in no pain, round my wound is slightly swollen,and it stings very slightly now and again but,I have had worse blisters from walking to be honest!!!

      You will feel exhausted ,any pain you get you can take off with painkillers they give you to take home.

      Hot water bottle to put on you lower back I found to be bliss !!

      Other than that Hun,I am telling you now you will smash it!!!! Don't even entertain be scared,save that energy for getting better after the op,nervous energy is wasted energy!!!!

      Let me know how you get on xxx massive hugs xxx

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    • Posted

      I'm good with my pain threshold like you!

      I didn't think I would be feeling as good as I do 12days after!

      I'm still going to be careful and keep resting of cause but I do feel normal!!

      You are going to be just fine!!!

      Take yourself shopping,go out for meals and have laughs with friends and family before you go in and plan to do some nice things for when you are feeling better!!

      I'm going to have my nails done tomorrow, lovely treat !!

      Oh and by the way , having a catheter in is a breeze, (if they put one in for you) it's put in when you are under the anesthetic ,and when they take it out it doesn't hurt one bit!! I wondered if it would hurt but it doesn't.

      Also if you have staples instead of stitches ,they don't hurt one bit when they take them out!!!

      So do not worry!!!!!!


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