General Post-Operative Instructions

Hands of medical doctor

Laparoscopic surgery causes less damage to the muscles and other tissues than a traditional incision. For this reason, there are fewer restrictions on your physical activity than might be expected.

ACTIVITY:   

Walking. Walking is permitted and encouraged beginning Post-operative within hours of your operation. Start with short walks and gradually increase the distance and length of time that you walk.

Climbing. Climbing stairs is permitted. Initially, some assistance may be necessary.

Lifting. No lifting greater than ten pounds.

Showers. Showers are permitted two days after surgery. Be careful NOT to scrub your incision area. Rinse well and pat dry.

Driving.  Driving may be resumed 3-5 days following surgery, but not if you are still taking prescription pain medications.

Intercourse.  May be resumed two days after surgery.

WOUND CARE:

Sutures. Typically dissolvable sutures are placed just beneath the surface of the incision. The material is absorbed by your body in about 6 weeks and does not need to be removed. Occasionally, several weeks after surgery a small white string may be visible at your incision site. This string can be cut at the surface of the skin using a clean pair of scissors (wipe with isopropyl alcohol prior to cutting). If Staples are used, they will be removed 5-10 days after surgery in the office.

Dermabond.  A material much like super glue is used on top of the skin to help hold the incisions closed.  This material will generally come off without assistance in 2-4 weeks.  Do not peel or pick it off prior to that point.

Dressings.  Most often there is no need for dressing.

MEDICATIONS:

Pain. Your physician will prescribe narcotic pain medications after surgery. These are typically only needed for a few days and up to one week, thereafter we recommend Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil for mild to moderate pain. DO NOT take the prescription pain medicine along with an over the counter pain medications. Call for questions. 671-5150

Stool Softener. Stool softener or mild laxatives may be necessary if you do not have a spontaneous bowel movement within 3 days of your surgery. Phillips  Milk of Magnesia is most recommended and can be purchased over the counter.  Call the office for further instructions.

RETURN TO WORK. Most patients will be able to return to work or resume their usual level of function 2-3 weeks after surgery. This may need to be determined by you and your employer. Some patients have residual fatigue for a couple of weeks following general anesthesia.

CALL THE OFFICE: for questions or problems.

CALL IMMEDIATELY FOR:

1.    Persistent nausea or vomiting.

2.    Food impaction.

3.    Fever greater than 101 degrees F.

4.    Increased abdominal pain.

5.    Redness, increasing tenderness at incisions, and drainage from incisions with foul odor. 

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