Your Care at Home After Laparoscopy For Women
What Is a Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is surgery that allows the doctor to look at your reproductive organs and other structures in your abdomen. It is done with a slender scope that is put in through a small incision just below the navel. It requires anesthesia and can be used to find or treat disease.
What You Can Expect After Surgery
You will stay from 2 to 4 hours after the surgery. This time is used to observe you to ensure your safety and to prepare you for your trip home. You will most often go home the same day.
You may have pain or other symptoms that often go away in 24 to 48 hours. You may feel:
1. Pain at the sites where the scope is passed through the wall of the abdomen.
2. Mild nausea from medicines you were given.
3. Cramps similar to menstrual cramps.
4. Bloody discharge like a light menstrual flow for up to a week.
5. Aching in your neck and shoulders from the gas put in your abdomen. For relief, lie on your side or put a few pillows under your buttocks so they are raised higher than your chest. Stay in this position for 5 to 15 minutes. The pain should slowly subside.
6. A swollen abdomen for a few days.
7. Bruising at the site.
8. Fatigue or muscle aches for a day or two.
If you feel sick to your stomach the night you get home, drink slowly and in small amounts. Bland liquids such as broth, tea or jello are best if you feel this way. Add solid foods to your diet when you feel better.
1. The night of your surgery, wash the brown soap stain on your stomach using plain soap and water. Do not remove or get water under the band-aids.
2. The day after, remove the Band-Aids® and gently wash the sites with soap and water. Replace the used band-aids with fresh ones. Keep the sites covered with band-aids until they are well healed, in one to two weeks. The stitches will be absorbed by the body so they do not need to be removed. Do not apply any powders, ointments, or creams to the site until it is well healed.
- It is safe to resume normal activities when you feel able.
- You may shower the next day. You may take a bath or swim after one week.
- You can resume sexual activity in 4-7 days or per your doctor’s advice.
- You may use pads or tampons.
- Do not drive for 24 hours or until after you have stopped your narcotic pain medicine since you will be drowsy. If your stomach is sore enough to limit motion of your legs, wait to drive until the soreness subsides.
Pain Relief Measures
If you have pain, take your prescribed medicine or take one to two tablets of Motrin®, Aleve®, Advil®, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 3-4 hours.
If you had a tubal sterilization done, keep using your present birth control for one week after the laparoscopy. If you are taking birth control pills, finish your present cycle or follow your doctor’s advice.
When to Call Your Doctor
- Any major drainage, increased redness, swelling, or soreness around the sites.
- Fever over 101° F. (Check temperature two times per day for first three days).
- Bleeding more than a menstrual period.
- Problems with vomiting or increased stomach pain. You should feel better each day.
Your first follow-up visit with your doctor will be in about 4 weeks.
UW Health- Managed OB Clinics
UW Health West OB/GYN Clinic
451 Junction Rd
Madison WI 53717
UW Health East OB/GYN Clinic
5249 E Terrace Pkwy
Madison WI 53718
UW Health Benign Gynecology Clinic
600 Highland Ave
Madison WI 53792
UW Health Gynecology/Oncology Clinic
600 Highland Ave
Madison WI 53792
UWMF- Managed OB Clinics
20 S. Park, Suite 307
Madison, WI 53715
4122 East Towne Blvd.
Madison, WI 53704
7102 Mineral Point Rd.
Madison, WI 53717
5543 East Cheryl Parkway
Fitchburg, WI 53711
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/23/2012
Copyright © 05/23/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4364
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