What is laparoscopy? Why do I need a laparoscopy?
The word 'laparoscopy' derives from the Greek word lapara (meaning 'flank' or 'loin') and skopein (meaning 'to see, view, or examine'). Laparoscopic surgery involves inserting a tiny telescope connected to a camera called a laparoscope through a small incision in the belly button in order to view the reproductive organs. It makes examination of the abdominal cavity possible without a large abdominal incision and is a common procedure in endometriosis. During the surgery, endometrial lesions (implants of endometrial tissue outside of the endometrium) are cut away or burned away using a high-energy heat source, such as a laser.
A laparoscopy is the most common procedure used to diagnose and remove mild to moderate endometriosis. Many endometriosis sufferers will undergo a laparoscopic procedure at some point, either as a diagnostic measure or for ongoing treatment. Whilst it is a relatively minor operation, it can still be traumatic both in physical nature and from an emotional aspect.
Natural medicine can provide pre and post-operative support for those undergoing such surgery. Some of these methods include:
Acupuncture is a system of healing that involves the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points. It is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (energy), through distinct pathways or meridians that cover the body. Inserting special needles into acupoints, stimulates and enhances the flow of Qi, therefore regulating the energetic balance of the body and restoring health.
Evidence suggests that using acupuncture before and after surgery can significantly reduce the level of pain and the number of medications needed by patients. It can also significantly reduce other associated side effects of surgery such as nausea, vomiting and inflammation.
Vitamin C assists in wound healing and tissue repair, as well as helping to reduce inflammation and boosting your immune system. What a fantastic nutrient to increase after surgery. Vitamin E also helps to reduce scar tissue formation and can be taken internally as well as applied locally to the surgical incisions to assist in the healing process. Zinc and vitamin A will also help.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing. Homeopathic remedies can be used to support the patient pre and post-surgery to assist in the healing process and speed recovery time. Some of the remedies that may be of assistance include:
Bellis perennis - has a great affinity for soft tissue trauma especially of the pelvic organs. This remedy may restore fertility in cases where the pelvic organs have been traumatised by past abdominal surgery.
Arnica - helps ease the bruised, sore pain feeling after surgery. It may also help reduce swelling and blood stagnation.
Carbo vegetabilis - pain felt after the surgery can be caused by the use of carbon dioxide gas to enlarge the abdominal cavity. This gas becomes trapped inside the body causing great discomfort. Carbo Veg can help ease the pain of a distended abdomen after the procedure. It may also help restore strength if feeling weak after the loss of fluids or after drugs.
Phosphorus is a good remedy where there is nausea or vomiting after anesthetic medication.
Pyrogenium – a remedy to consider where this is a low-grade fever.
Ferrum Phosphoricum – used for blood loss, anemia and feeling faint.
Calendula officinalis – Calendula has antiseptic properties, this can be applied topically as a cream to incisions to facilitate healing.
Flower essences can ease the emotional and mental stresses of surgery. Reduced stress can quicken recovery and lessen the chance of complications. After surgery, flower essences can ease common problems such as difficulty sleeping, anxiety, feelings of helplessness and the inability to function in familiar ways.
Flower essences can work well on both a short and long-term basis. They are best taken at least 36 hours before surgery and continued afterwards until feeling mentally and emotionally recovered. For emotional preparation, one can begin up to a month before surgery. Remedies can include Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower Essence), Emergency Essence, and Women’s Essence (Australian Bush Flower Essences).
Affirmations are short, powerful statements, declaring something as true. When you say them or think them or even hear them, they become the thoughts that create your reality. They are you being in conscious control of your thoughts.
Science and medical researchers are proving more and more conclusively that what we think has a very strong bearing on our health. Healing affirmations prove that there is power in the spoken word and it has been shown that recovery time after surgery and pain management are both greatly enhanced with the use of these affirmations.
Here are some affirmations that may help someone feel calmer, relaxed and more positive after surgery.
* My body is very efficient in healing itself.
* The endometriosis surgery was successful with no side effects.
* My reproductive organs are healthy and endometriosis free.
* There is healing and wholeness within my body.
* I no longer suffer from endometriosis.
Visualisation and Meditation can be other effective tools to help recovery and manage pain. Patients can use a guided imagery CD or a relaxation music CD every day before and after surgery to help relax and facilitate healing.
* Remember, Rest and Relaxation are important for the body to release stress and promote healing. Immunity will not only increase but any health complications which may occur post-surgery such as infection will be minimised as the body has the chance to recover when we give it sufficient amounts of time to sleep, rest and heal!
To make the most of these natural therapies, and more, we recommend you consult your local Nutritionist/Herbalist/Naturopath/Homeopath.
Want to learn more?
Endometriosis and recovery from surgery are just two examples of how natural therapies can help improve your life or that of your patients. If you want to learn more about natural health, Switch on Health has several short courses and accredited qualifications that you will love, including Advanced Diplomas in Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Naturopathy and Homeopathy.