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Frequently asked questions about Laparoscopic post-operative care

Dr. R. K. Mishra

Why there is pain even after laparoscopic surgery?

Why there is swelling and bruise around incision?

Will there be any scars?

How should I care for the incisions?

When and what should I eat?

Can I take bath after operation?

Oh! there is some soakage from the incisions?

How will I know if there is an infection?

Should I move after laparoscopic surgery?

Why there is diarrhoea or constipation after surgery?

When can I go back to work?

When should I suspect a complication?

When should I see the surgeon after surgery?

Why there is pain after laparoscopic surgery?

Although laparoscopic surgery has very less post-operative pain compare to open procedure but it is wrong to think that laparoscopic surgery is a painless surgery. After Laparoscopic surgery patient sometimes may experience pain at the site of wound or in one or both of your shoulders. This is caused by irritating of diaphragm by carbon dioxide gas. This is very mild irritation. If you will tell your doctor about this problem than he will give you tramadol hydrochloride injection and pain will subside. There will also be some pain in the small incisions, which will also disappear after medication. Patient should avoid alcohol while taking pain medication. Within a few days, the pain should subside completely.

Why there is swelling and bruise around incision?

Although the incisions are small, some bleeding or swelling around incision are normal which occurs within the various tissue layers. Eventually these problems will go away completely with negligible scar.


Will there be any scars?

After the incisions have healed, there will be a small scar like scratch. These scars first appear pink, but over the next few months they will become less and less noticeable.

How should I care for the incisions?

After operation the incisions are covered with sterile dressings. These dressing should not be removed for at least the first 24 hours. If they become soiled, or saturated with drainage, you may replace them at any time. After 48 hours one can remove these dressing.


When and what should I eat?

Patient should remain on liquid diet, (juices, tea, and soup) for first 12 hour. After the first 12 hour if everything is normal and you are not feeling any nausea vomiting or abdominal cramp or distension you can resume your normal diet.

Can I take bath after operation?

If everything goes well the patient can take bath with shower after 48 hours of operation, with proper care of wound. Getting in a bathtub is dangerous, also swimming pool or hot tub for the first week after surgery. Soaking recent incisions under water pressure could increase the chance of developing an infection of the wound.

Oh! there is some soakage from the incisions?

Slight drainage from one or more of the incision site is common during the first few days. This drainage is typically thin and watery, and should be clear to reddish in colour. The patient should not panic about this drainage but if it is copious or green in colour and associated with pain abdomen you should immediately contact your surgeon.

How will I know if there is an infection?

The first sign of an infection is malaise and fever, which can develop forth days to a week or more after surgery. Infections produce an area of redness and tenderness around the incision site. If there is infection you should immediately contact your doctor for appropriate antibiotic.


Should I move after laparoscopic surgery?

As soon as you recover from anaesthesia you should try to move. This helps to get rid of any gas trapped in the abdomen and also reduces risk of developing pneumonia thromboembolism and adhesion formation. Climbing a long flight of stairs should be avoided. Strenuous activities such as lifting weight, straining and vigorous exercise should be avoided at least 14 days after laparoscopic surgery.


Why there is diarrhoea or constipation after surgery?

Because of disturbed physiology and dietary habit constipation is common after any surgery. Some patients may experience episodes of diarrhoea following surgery. These diarrhoea or constipation is generally temporary and most of the patient will have no problem after 48 hours. If there is constipation after 3-4 days mild enema will resolve the problem. If the diarrhoea is severe you should contact your surgeon and you should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

When can I go back to work?

After laparoscopic surgery patients can resume their activities more quickly than open operation. If patient works at a desk or other similar sedentary work, he or she can return to work as soon as feel well; usually within just a few days. If job involves heavy manual labour, it is better to be off work for about two weeks.

When should I suspect a complication?

If patient have fever, chills, vomiting, are unable to urinate, developed increasing redness at an incision site, or if pain is worsening, distension of abdomen or any discharge from the port site, patient should contact their surgeon promptly.

When should I see the surgeon after surgery?

It is necessary to come back into the office a week or two after your surgery for a check-up. The subsequent dates of check-up depend upon the type of operation performed and the surgeon's expectations from surgery.

Prof. Dr. R. K. Mishra.

Minimal Access Surgeon

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