Laparoscopy is the use of a telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope, that is inserted through a small incision just below or in the naval to visualize the female organs. Laparoscopy is done to evaluate the cause of abdominal pain, pelvic pain, infertility, or other problems in the reproductive organs. Depending on the extent of the disease it is possible to treat some problems through the laparoscope. This prevents the need for open abdominal surgery and shortens the recovery time from surgery.
PREOPERATIVE MEDICAL INFORMATION
The office has pamphlets and a movie explaining the surgical procedure called a diagnostic laparoscopy. We encourage you to read and review this information. The week prior to your surgery you will have an appointment with the doctor to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your surgery. We recommend you make a list of questions to bring to that appointment.
A diagnostic laparoscopy is done on an outpatient basis. You should plan on being at the hospital 6-8 hours the day of your surgery. Plan to have someone drive you home from the hospital.
Recovery time after a laparoscopy is 1-3 days. During this time you should plan to stay home, rest and recuperate. Some women return to work the next day depending on their job requirements.
The night before surgery you should have a light dinner, then nothing to eat or drink after 12 midnight. If you are on routine medications please check with the doctor prior to taking them on the morning of surgery.
DAY OF SURGERY INFORMATION
Please do not chew gum or smoke the day of surgery. You should remove all jewelry, nail polish, and contact lenses prior to coming to the hospital. Do not bring large amounts of cash or valuables to the hospital.
Arrive at the hospital 2 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.
At the hospital laboratory tests on your blood and urine will be done to determine if there are any abnormalities that may be of importance to your surgery. A chest x-ray may also be done depending on your health needs.
You will speak to an anesthesiologist regarding your surgery sometime prior to surgery. An IV will be started to give you fluids and medication if needed to help you relax.
The surgery will take approximately 1-2 hours. You will remain in therecovery room until you are fully awake. Pain medication is ordered post surgery, do not hesitate to ask for it as needed.
LAPAROSCOPY POST-OPERATIVE INFORMATION SHEET
You may have minor pain and bruising at the incision sites. Changing position will help relieve discomfort. Holding support at the sites when moving or coughing will increase comfort. You will be given a prescription for a pain medication to use the first 2 days after surgery. After your prescription is finished you should use an Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil, 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours, unless otherwise directed by your physician.
You may have aches and pains in your shoulders and chest from Carbon Dioxide used to inflate your abdomen. This pain will disappear in a few days.
It is possible to develop a sore throat from the airway tube used in your windpipe during your anesthesia. Hard candy and/or Cepacol throat lozenges can provide relief.
You should have someone drive you home from the hospital, and then not drive on your surgery day. Avoid exercise or lifting greater than 25 pounds for 7 days. Some women feel like going back to work the next day, depending on their type of employment. You should be able to return to work no later than three days after the surgery.
You should be able to drink clear liquids upon discharge from the hospital. You may resume your diet as you become hungry. It is normal to experience some nausea from the anesthesia. Start with bland foods the night of the surgery then resume your regular diet the next day. It is best to avoid drinking carbonated beverages for 48 hours.
You may bathe as desired.
Keep your incisions clean and dry. They may be cleansed with hydrogen peroxide or mild soap and water if needed. Any bandage can be removed the following day.
It is normal to have slight vaginal bleeding for a few days after the surgery.
You should avoid intercourse for 2 weeks. At your follow up visit the physician will discuss when you can resume sexual activity.
REASONS TO CALL THE DOCTOR
Excessive vaginal bleeding.
Fever over 100 degrees.
Acute pain that lasts longer than 24 hours or is not relieved by position change and/or medication.