How long does it take to recover from Laparoscopic surgery (laparoscopy)?
When the surgery is over, you’ll be observed for several hours before you’re released from the hospital. Your vital signs, such your breathing and heart rate, will be monitored closely. Hospital staff will also check for any adverse reactions to the anesthesia or the procedure, as well as monitor for prolonged bleeding.
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The timing of your release will vary. It depends on:
. Your overall physical condition
. The type of anesthesia used
. Your body’s reaction to the surgery
In some cases, you may have to remain in the hospital overnight.
A family member or friend will need to drive you home if you received general anesthesia. The effects of general anesthesia usually take several hours to wear off, so it can be unsafe to drive after the procedure.
In the days following laparoscopy, you may feel moderate pain and throbbing in the areas where incisions were made. Any pain or discomfort should improve within a few days. Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve the pain.
It’s also common to have shoulder pain after your procedure. The pain is usually a result of the carbon dioxide gas used to inflate your abdomen to create a working space for the surgical instruments. The gas can irritate your diaphragm, which shares nerves with your shoulder. It may also cause some bloating. The discomfort should go away within a couple of days.
You can usually resume all normal activities within a week. You’ll need to attend a follow-up appointment with your doctor about two weeks after laparoscopy.
Here are some things you can do to ensure a smoother recovery:
. Begin light activity as soon as you’re able, in order to reduce your risk of blood clots.
. Get more sleep than you normally do.
. Use throat lozenges to ease the pain of a sore throat.
. Wear loose-fitting clothes.
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Laparoscopic Surgery (Laparoscopy) Scars
The number and size of incisions depends upon what specific diseases your surgeon is attempting to confirm or rule out. Generally, you get from one to four incisions that are each between 1 and 2 centimeters in length. These incisions allow other instruments to be inserted.
Most incisions look red at first but fade over time so the scar is hardly noticeable. However, sometimes people develop a thicker type of scar that has extra fibrous tissue — this is called a “keloid scar”.
How long do laparoscopy scars take to heal?
What can I do to make sure my incision heals well?
It takes up to a year for the incision to totally heal. It’s very important to keep your incision out of the sun, as this area will burn easily. Direct sunlight can also cause the incision to become darker. If you can’t help being out in the sun, be sure to use a sunscreen with a high (30+) SPF (sun protection factor) on the healed incision to reduce sun exposure.
Once you’re home recovering from your surgery, it’s important to rest, eat healthy foods, and keep your incision(s) clean. Our bodies are amazing, but everyone needs time to recover from surgery. Ask your doctor when you can participate in sports or other activities you do.
Will I need to have my stitches removed?
Your stitches don’t need to be removed. They will dissolve on their own in about 2–6 weeks. Be sure to keep your stitches covered for the first 48 hours after your surgery. You may shower after that. Gently pat the stitches dry with a soft towel, and cover them with a small adhesive bandage. If you have any type of discharge, redness, swelling, or tenderness around the stitches, call your nurse.
After Laparoscopic Surgery (Laparoscopy):
. DO NOT drive a car for 48 hours after your laparoscopy, because the anaesthesia causes drowsiness.
. You don’t need to stay in bed, but it’s best to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day.
. After 24 hours, there is no limit on your physical activity as long as you’re not taking narcotic medication.
. DO NOT drive, participate in sports, or use heavy equipment while you’re taking narcotic pain medication.
. You may take a shower or bath 2 days after your surgery.
. You may return to school or work when you feel ready (usually about 2 days after your surgery).
. You may swim in the ocean or in a swimming pool 2 days after your laparoscopy.
. You may swim in a lake or pond 2 weeks after your laparoscopy.
. You should avoid getting into a hot tub or Jacuzzi for 2 weeks after your laparoscopy.
. It’s important to drink as much fluid as you did before the surgery.
. On your first day at home, have light liquids and foods such as apple juice, ginger ale, ice pops, soup, crackers, and toast to help prevent stomach upset.
. Avoid citrus juices such as orange juice and tomato juice. You may gradually add foods.
. By the second day after surgery, you should be able to return to your regular diet.
. Since most prescription pain medications cause constipation, it’s important to drink plenty of water, eat foods that contain fiber such as fruits and vegetables, and stay active. You may also take 1 capful of MiraLAX® (over–the–counter) in 8 ounces of fluid twice a day.
. Pain and Treatment
. You may have soreness in your abdomen (belly) area.
. You may have shoulder pain. This is caused from trapped gas. The amount of discomfort can vary, but should go away within 48–72 hours. A heating pad should help.
. Your doctor will prescribe medicine to help relieve your abdominal (belly) pain.
. Take the prescription pain medicine for the first 48 hours as prescribed. After that, you may change to acetaminophen. This comes as a tablet, caplet, and liquid, and is used to relieve mild to moderate pain and fever. It’s very important to follow the directions on the package. Don’t take more of it, or take it more frequently than prescribed. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain anything you don’t understand.
. Some prescription medicine may cause nausea (feeling like you want to throw up) – if you experience this symptom, stop the medicine and switch to nonprescription acetaminophen.
. DO NOT use prescription pain medication (narcotics) for shoulder discomfort. Take acetaminophen and/or apply a heating pad.
. If you’re constipated, you may take 1 capful of MiraLAX® (over–the–counter) in 8 ounces of fluid twice a day.
. Call your primary care provider if you haven’t had a bowel movement within 3 days after surgery or if the MiraLAX® doesn’t work.
. Bandage/Dressing care
. You’ll have Band–Aids® over the small incisions. Remove the Band–Aids® 2 days after your surgery.
. Replace the Band–Aid® so that your jeans or other clothing won’t rub and irritate your stitches.
. Navel piercings: Jewelry may be replaced 24–48 hours after surgery.
. You may have black and blue areas around the incisions.
. Your stitches don’t need to be removed. They will dissolve within 2–6 weeks.
. You may have a slight discharge or spotting from your vagina that may last for 2 to 5 days.
Call your doctor if you have:
. Heavy bleeding from your vagina or incision sites
. Redness, swelling or pus at the incision sites
. An upset stomach or vomiting after the first day
. A fever higher than 101°F (taken by mouth)
. Severe pain that doesn’t get better with pain medicine
Results of Laparoscopic surgery (laparoscopy)
If a biopsy was taken, a pathologist will examine it. A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in tissue analysis. A report detailing the results will be sent to your doctor.
Normal results from laparoscopy indicate the absence of abdominal bleeding, hernias, and intestinal blockages. They also mean that all your organs are healthy.
Abnormal results from laparoscopy indicate certain conditions, including:
. Adhesions or surgical scars
. Appendicitis, an inflammation of the intestines
. Fibroids, or abnormal growths in the uterus
. Cysts or tumors
. Cholecystitis, an inflammation of the gall bladder
. Endometriosis, a disorder in which the tissue that forms the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus.
. Injury or trauma to a particular organ
. Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the reproductive organs
Your doctor will schedule an appointment with you to go over the results. If a serious medical condition was found, your doctor will discuss appropriate treatment options with you and work with you to come up with a plan for addressing that condition.
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