preparing for surgery

Preparing for Endometriosis Surgery

Endometriosis is a Multi-System Disease

It can affect your bladder, bowels, pelvic floor as well as the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis can have impacts beyond the pelvis, affecting mood, energy levels and concentration. Sometimes, people feel overwhelmed by their symptoms and so it is important to build a team of experienced clinicians around you to support your recovery.

Some of the treatments require persistence, dedication and can be challenging. Surgery is just one aspect of treatment. Being prepared for surgery will pave the way for a better recovery.

A Good GP is a Good Start

First of all, a good relationship with your GP is the foundation of care. Your GP is the central coordinating clinician. They can assist with Enhanced Primary Care Plans (EPCP), Mental Health Care Plans (MHCP), repeat prescriptions and managing symptoms in-between visits with specialists.

Physiotherapy is also important for managing pelvic pain, painful sex and stress management. A Women’s Health physiotherapist with an understanding of pain neuroscience will help you to manage pain flares with stretches, exercises and non-addictive pain medications. If Botox is recommended for pelvic floor myalgia this is best planned after 3 visits with an appropriately skilled women’s health physiotherapist. For best results, it is imperative that you have follow up with your physiotherapist post procedure to ensure ongoing pelvic floor rehabilitation.

Careful attention to diet and managing food intolerances can reduce the burden of discomfort by supporting adequate nutrition and decreasing abdominal bloating and constipation. A dietician is a valuable member of your treating team. Your EPC Plan can assist with the out of pocket expense for seeing a dietician, or you may have ‘Extras Cover’ with your private health insurance.

Anxiety, mood concerns and relationship issues can impact on your ability to engage actively in your own recovery. Support and skills training from a psychologist is another important part of improving your wellbeing. A Mental Health Care Plan and referral to a psychologist can be arranged by your GP. While you are waiting to see a psychologist, the Centre for Clinical Interventions website has a number of very helpful worksheets to get you started.

Other Resources

Another excellent source of information is The Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia website (www.pelvicpain.org.au). For example, they have information on managing medications, down training your pelvic floor muscles and tips on managing bladder symptoms.

If you require medications for pain on an ongoing basis, these are best managed by a Pain Physician, in conjunction with your GP. They aim for short-term use of pain medications to avoid the problems of medication interactions, dependence and worsening your pain responses.

Women with endometriosis sometimes need assistance with managing hormonal concerns, menstrual cycle control (stopping periods) and sexual difficulties. Help can be provided by your gynaecologist or a sexual health physician.

Aim of Surgery

Your gynaecologist/surgeon will also provide you with information sheets on endometriosis and laparoscopic surgery form the Royal Australian College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and other sources.

The aim of surgical therapy is to clear all the possible disease and normalise anatomy. Although surgery forms part of the treatment and is an important diagnostic tool, it works best when combined with medical management and allied health input. This achieves better results and reduces chances of disease recurrence (and need for further surgery).

Endometriosis is a multi-system disease. Treatment requires a multi-disciplinary approach, persistence and optimism about recovery. Care after surgery is also important, particularly in managing hormonal concerns. I’m proud to be a part of the team at AGSC. Who is on your team?

Thank you to Dr Magda Halt and Dr David Munday for assistance with preparing this blog.

Dr Tonia Mezzini has been helping women to prepare for endometriosis surgery for many years.  If you would like expert advice on endometriosis, make an appointment to see Dr Tonia Mezzini today.

Dr Tonia Mezzini is known for offering the best possible advice and treatment options for a person’s sexual health care needs. In particular, she cares for patients with: