Laparoscopic surgery is one of Western medicine’s marvels, as it enables surgical treatment to be carried out using one or more small incisions to the abdomen without the need to be cut open. As a result, recovery time is less and post-surgery pain isn’t as prolonged or intense.
As with any surgery, laparoscopies still involve bed rest and cautious movement, which can cause the rest of the body to feel uncomfortable and sluggish. It is remarkable to see how much we depend on our core for most of our day-to-day movement.
So how do we keep the rest of our body agile after this type of surgery?
As I write this, it is Day 5 following my ovarian laparoscopic surgery that involved the doctors making four incisions in my abdomen to remove a tumour from my right ovary. One incision was made over each of my ovaries, another in the middle of my lower abdomen, and the fourth through my belly button.
I was released after overnight observation, prescribed initial bed rest, and then encouraged to make very gentle attempts at sitting up and moving thereafter. The abdominal discomfort can be described as what I would imagine doing 500 sit-ups in one go would feel like, and then suffering from intense muscular pain as a result. I also had secondary pain through the shoulders, sides of my body and chest, which made it hard to breathe deeply. This was caused by prolonged periods of lying in awkward and rounded positions.
By the second day, I was sitting up in bed and started to bring some very gentle movement and soft stretching into my morning routine to free up my shoulders, chest and the sides of my body, to give my rib-cage more room to accommodate my breath. I also focused on my neck, hips and legs. These stretches are helping my body to stay comfortable, whilst allowing my abdominal area to continue to recover.
5 gentle, effective poses to support your recovery
Surgery takes a tremendous amount out of you. Bear in mind that the simplest action, such as getting yourself a glass of water can take all your energy to achieve. In addition, if like me you’re not used to taking medication, the after-effects of anaesthesia coupled with medication can have an effect on your mood and morale.
So be kind to yourself. Do things mindfully, gently and patiently. And remember that doing less is sometimes more beneficial than overdoing it. Focusing on just one of the poses above might be enough 🙂
To start benefitting from nurturing, mindful movement to help support your body after a laparoscopy, find out more about my gentle 5-step sequence here.
Last updated September 2022
Author: Claire Martin