Thumbnail image of: Laparoscopy: Illustration

Laparoscopy Discharge Information

What is a laparoscopy?

A laparoscopy is a procedure to allow your healthcare provider to look at the organs and tissues inside your belly or pelvis (area below the belly and between the hips). These organs include the liver, intestines, gallbladder, appendix and, in women, the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. A laparoscope is a thin tube with a light and tiny camera. It is placed through a small cut, usually next to the belly button. The camera shows a view of the abdominal organs on a TV monitor.

Laparoscopy may help your provider find and treat the cause of medical problems you may be having, such as:

  • Pain, an abnormal lump, or fluid in your belly
  • Appendicitis
  • Liver disease
  • Gallstones
  • Trouble getting pregnant
  • A possible tubal pregnancy
  • Uterine or ovarian problems

How can I take care of myself when I go home?

How long it takes to get better depends on what your provider found and what additional treatments you may have had during the laparoscopy. In most cases, you can usually return to a normal lifestyle within 4 to 5 days, but it may take longer for your normal energy level to come back.

Management

  • Your provider will give you a list of your medicines when you leave the hospital.
    • Know your medicines. Know what they look like, how much you should take each time, how often you are to take them, and why you take each one.
    • Take your medicines exactly as your provider tells you to.
    • Carry a list of your medicines in your wallet or purse. Include any nonprescription medicines and supplements on the list.
    • Talk to your provider before you use any other medicines, including nonprescription medicines.
  • Your provider may prescribe medicine or other therapy to:
    • Treat pain
    • Treat or prevent an infection
    • Prevent side effects, such as nausea or constipation, from other treatments
    • Soften your bowel movement
  • To care for your surgical wound:
    • Keep your surgery wound clean.
    • If you are told to change your dressing, wash your hands before changing the dressing and after disposing of the dressing.
  • Follow activity restrictions, such as not driving or operating machinery, as recommended by your healthcare provider or pharmacist, especially if you are taking pain medicines.
  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine light yellow in color, unless you are told to limit fluids.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting or otherwise strain the stomach muscles for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Find people to help you with your day-to-day duties while you are healing.
  • Take care of your health. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Eat a healthy diet and try to keep a healthy weight. If you smoke, try to quit. If you want to drink alcohol, ask your healthcare provider how much is safe for you to drink. Learn ways to manage stress. Exercise according to your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Appointments

  • Follow your provider’s instructions for follow-up appointments.
  • Keep appointments for all routine testing you may need.
  • Talk with your provider about any questions or concerns you have.

Call your healthcare provider if you have new or worsening:

  • Signs of infection around your surgical wound. These include:
    • The area around the wound is more red or painful
    • The wound area is very warm to touch
    • You have blood, pus, or other fluid coming from the wound area
    • You have a fever higher than 101.5° F (38.6° C)
    • You have chills or muscle aches
  • Blood in your vomit
  • Blood in your bowel movement
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
Developed by RelayHealth.
Acute Care Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2015-02-03
Last reviewed: 2015-01-07
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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