Laparoscopy

LAPAROSCOPY

Laparoscopy surgery involves filling your abdomen and pelvis with gas and then making a small incision in your belly button through which we insert the laparoscope to see what is happening inside you. Other incisions are made in different parts of the abdomen so we can insert other instruments that allow us to operate inside you without having to cut you open.

I operate out of St. Paul’s Hospital. Visit their website for general information to prepare for your procedure, including Info For Surgical Patients which has a thorough walk-through From admission to discharge.

POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS

After the surgery you will feel bloated and distended for a few days. This can be very uncomfortable at first but will get better by itself in time. You may also have some shoulder pain. This is caused by some of the gas that is left behind after the surgery lying under your diaphragm and causing a referred pain in your shoulder. This will also disappear in a day or so. You may also have some pain and cramping especially if you had a cyst removed.

The incisions are small and in most cases do not need to be sutured closed. If there is a stitch in the incision, the stitch will dissolve by itself. To help the incision heal faster, rub some Polysporin cream over it 2 to 3 times a day. You can shower and get the incision wet. If you have some band-aids or steri-strips over the incision, you can remove these in a couple of days. Do not worry if they fall off by themselves. You can bathe a week after the surgery.

For pain control you will be given a prescription for pain medication and told how to take it. I suggest you start with a combination of Tylenol extra strength together with an anti-inflammatory such as Advil or Motrin. Take one or two of each depending on the intensity of your pain. If this does not control your pain you may need to use some of the prescription pain medication as directed.

Eat and drink according to your apatite. It is common the feel nauseated for a short while after the surgery. Do not use alcohol until you are feeling well and not taking pain medication

Light activity is encouraged after the surgery but avoid strenuous physical activity until your pain has resolved. You can walk upstairs and you can lift objects lighter than 20 pounds. It will probably be 2 to 4 weeks before you are feeling well enough to get back to the gym.

What is not normal?

Please call me if you have any of the following:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding, in which you are soaking a pad every 15 minutes for 2 hours or more
  • Severe abdominal or pelvic pain not responding to pain medication
  • Inability to empty your bladder
  • A very distended and painful belly
  • Fever: temperature greater than 38.5 C
  • Painful swollen leg
  • Shortness of breath
  • Offensive vaginal discharge
  • Nausea and vomiting lasting more than 24 hours