Laparoscopy: Post-operative Instructions
Pain: Pain after a laparoscopic procedure tends to be most intense 24 hours after surgery. Discomfort is usually related to the gas used to distend the belly. The gas commonly causes shoulder pain. The general rule is pain should be progressively improving every hour and every day.
Wounds: The small wounds from laparoscopy require minimal care. Keep the steri-strips on as long as possible. If stitches were used to close the wounds, these will dissolve in the next few weeks; they do not require removal unless you find them to be bothersome.
Discharge: You may experience light bleeding or a pinkish vaginal discharge for a few days postoperatively.
Self Care: Please refrain from using tampons, douching, or having sexual intercourse for 3-4 weeks after the procedure. Bathing and swimming should not be attempted before 4 weeks following surgery. Showering is fine at any point.
Activity: Do not drive until you are no longer taking presrciption medications and your pain is minimal. You are encouraged to remain mobile and physically active; walking is good. Climbing stairs is fine, just adjust your pace.
When to seek urgent medical attention: Report any of the following: pain that is progressively increasing, an abdomen that is becoming more distended, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, fever > 38.5°C, a swollen painful leg, or sudden shortness of breath.
Follow-up: Discuss arrangements with your surgeon.