Laparotomy Recovery and Aftercare

Laparotomy recovery

Laparotomy Recovery and Aftercare


Following the operation, the person will slowly wake up from the anesthetic. They will remain in the hospital for immediate aftercare.

This aftercare may include:

. Careful monitoring of temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure

. Assessment of the wound site and wound care, possibly including drainage

. A tube through the nose into the stomach to drain the stomach for a day or two, if necessary, to help the digestive tract recover.

. The insertion of a urinary catheter to drain urine, if necessary

. Intravenous fluids, as people may have to avoid eating and drinking for a few days.

. Regular pain relief medication to ease discomfort.

. Deep breathing, leg exercises, and walking the day after the operation to help reduce the risk of chest infections and blood clots.

Some people feel nauseated after receiving an anesthetic. A doctor may be able to provide medication to relieve nausea.

Once the person is well enough to leave the hospital, a doctor will provide details of how to care for the abdominal wound at home.

The doctor will also provide any necessary medication and advice on how to rest and recover.

Read more about : Laparoscopic Surgery

Read more about : Rest and exercise after Laparotomy


As people can undergo a laparotomy for a wide range of reasons, the recovery time can vary significantly among individuals. Many other factors, including the person’s age and overall health, will also determine how long it takes them to feel better.

People can take steps at home to rest and allow their body to recover. These include:

. Resting as much as possible for days to weeks, depending on the doctor’s recommendation.

. Continuing to move around and do any exercises that a doctor has set.

. Getting other people to help around the home and with daily tasks, where possible.

. Following all dietary guidelines from a doctor

. Taking medication as a doctor prescribes

. Avoiding all heavy lifting, including pulling or pushing items, sexual activity, and swimming for 6 weeks.

It is usual to feel tired with low energy during recovery, as the body is healing. It is also quite common to experience a wide range of emotions and have difficulty sleeping.

People may be unable to drive during recovery, either because they are allowing their body to heal or due to the medications that they are taking. A person can check with their doctor and inform their insurance company if this is the case.

Read more about : Laparocco

It is important to contact a doctor as soon as possible if any signs or symptoms of infection appear around the wound site. These may include:

. Increased pain or tenderness

. Redness

. Swelling

. Discharge from the wound site

. Fever or chills

. Vomiting or nausea

People should also seek medical help straight away if they have any symptoms of a blood clot, including:

. Difficulty breathing

. Chest pain

. Severe leg pain

People can carefully follow the doctor’s instructions and ensure that they have a final checkup at the end of their recovery period.


Laparotomy may cause a red, painful, raised scar across the abdomen, and it may take 6–8 weeks for this scarring to heal. In some cases, the scar will fade over time, but in others, it may be permanent.

Some people may develop abdominal adhesions after the surgery. Abdominal adhesions are bands of scar tissue inside the abdomen.

Abdominal adhesions are common, particularly following laparotomy.

Abdominal adhesions can sometimes lead to complications, such as causing a blockage in the intestines (small bowel obstruction). In females, abdominal adhesions can sometimes block areas of the reproductive system and cause infertility.

People should seek medical help straight away if they have any symptoms of abdominal adhesions, such as:

. Severe abdominal pain

. Bloating

. Constipation

. Not passing gas

. Nausea and vomiting

. Fever

10 common questions about Laparotomy recovery

1Is a laparotomy a major surgery?
A laparotomy is a major surgical procedure that involves an incision being made in the abdominal wall.
2What is a laparotomy procedure?
A laparotomy is a surgical procedure involving a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity. It is also known as a celiotomy.
3How long after a laparotomy can you drive?
We advise you avoid penetrative intercourse for about six weeks. This will allow everything to heal and prevent infection. If you have any concerns, refrain from sex until after your six week post operative check
4How long does laparotomy incision take to heal?
Large or deep surgery incisions can take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. People with medical problems or prescribed certain medications may take longer.
5How long is a laparotomy surgery?
In 38 cases (3.8%) the laparoscopic procedure was converted to laparotomy. The average operating time for treating ectopic pregnancy and tubal disease was approximately 60 min (range 13-240). Surgery for endometriosis and ovarian cysts averaged 72 min (range 10-240).
6Is pain a sign of healing?
Worsening or no changes in pain.While some wounds can remain painful at the start of healing, worsening pain or lack of relief over many days indicates a non-healing wound. ... Worsening swelling or redness, commonly accompanied by pain, usually indicates poor healing
7Is a laparotomy dangerous?
There are risks associated with laparoscopy, though serious complications are rare. Laparotomy carries the general risks of surgery and use of anesthesia. Additional risks associated with laparotomy vary depending on the underlying problem or disease that the procedure is meant to treat.
8How long are you in hospital after a laparotomy?
How long you will need to stay in the hospital will depend on the reason you needed the laparotomy, your treatments, and how well you recover. This is often 5 to 10 days after you have the procedure.
9How soon after laparotomy can I get pregnant?
A: Many doctors advise all women to wait 18 to 24 months after they've given birth before trying to conceive again, but this is especially true for those who've delivered by c-section. This time-out gives your body a chance to heal and recover from surgery.
10How long is recovery from ovarian cyst removal laparotomy?
After the ovarian cyst has been removed, you'll feel pain in your tummy, although this should improve in a day or two. Following laparoscopic surgery, you'll probably need to take things easy for two weeks. Recovery after a laparotomy usually takes longer, possibly around six to eight weeks.

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