Recovery From Laparoscopic Surgery - Advice and Tips

20 December 2016
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Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to carry out routine gynaecological procedures without major invasive surgery.  Even though you won't have a large wound following laparoscopy surgery, you'll still need to ensure that you take care to recover properly from your procedure.  Here are some top tips to help you get over your laparoscopy procedure.

Resting properly

Although you will need to rest properly immediately following your procedure, it's still important that you keep moving.  Every couple of hours, spend 10 minutes or so gently walking around indoors to encourage good circulation and promote healing.  Don't undertake any strenuous sporting activities or lifting.

When you go to bed, always rest in a reclining position with your head slightly elevated, rather than lying completely flat, and don't bend over.

Fluid intake

Keep yourself well-hydrated following surgery by drinking plenty of water and fruit juice.  It's important that you maintain good circulation and that your digestive system functions efficiently.  In addition, constipation is common post-anaesthetic and a good fluid intake will help to combat this.

Sun exposure

It is very important that you don't expose your laparoscopy surgery site to direct sunlight until it is completely healed.  The skin around the operation site is likely to be very sensitive immediately post-operation, and the sun's UV rays can cause serious damage to the tissues.   

What feelings to expect after laparoscopic surgery

There are some sensations that it is quite normal to experience following laparoscopy, including:

  • bruising and tenderness over the operation site
  • tingling or burning sensations
  • localised discomfort around drain sites
  • lack of sensitivity around operation site
  • shiny, itchy skin
  • asymmetry

You can alleviate most of these symptoms by taking over the counter pain medication or antihistamines. 

When to seek urgent medical advice

Although most laparoscopy patients heal very quickly and without problems, there are some signs that you should look out for that could indicate serious medical complications.

  • a high fever
  • dizziness or confusion and hallucinations
  • extreme pain that won't go away with normal pain medication
  • a heart rate of over 120 beats per minute
  • vomiting
  • bright red skin that is hot to touch
  • bleeding or clear fluid seeping through the laparoscopy incisions

Any of these symptoms could indicate that your operation site is infected or that there are other complications.  Always contact your medical team immediately if you experience any of the symptoms outlined above.

In conclusion

Laparoscopic surgery is a safe, minimally invasive procedure that can be used for many gynaecological problems, including hysterectomy.  You should make a quick and trouble-free recovery, however always contact your gynecologist if you are concerned about any aspect of your recovery.