Recovering from laparoscopic surgery is different for everyone. Patient expectation, extent of surgery, length of surgery, the surgeon and the facility all play a role in how someone recovers after laparoscopic surgery. And as always, you should ask your doctor about any specific concerns you have.
I’ve put together the following information to help answer some frequently asked questions and to outline some of the common experiences that may occur after your surgery.
Length of stay
Laparoscopy is usually performed as a day-stay basis, but an overnight stay may be required if the surgery is complex or lengthy. If a bowel resection or partial bowel resection is performed, your hospital stay may be extended by several days. Some may take only a few days to recover, but others may take several weeks to heal completely.
Activity after surgery
Your doctor may restrict driving for two weeks and only begin driving when you feel strong enough to be able to stop the vehicle in an emergency. Avoid swimming and bathing. Use common sense when starting routine exercise and gradually advance your activity. You will recover more quickly if you move about. You should NOT be bedridden.
Intercourse should be avoided for two to four weeks, depending on your surgery. You should avoid intercourse for a minimum of six weeks if you had hysterectomy to allow the top of the vagina to fully heal.
Shower and Wound care
You may take a shower the day after surgery. However, keep your wound dry and clean. Your incisions are closed with a suture underneath the skin, which will dissolve on its own. It is then covered with “derma-bond”, a surgical-glue. This protects the incision and will last for two weeks or longer. The glue can be removed by gentle scrubbing during shower.
Some bruises at the incision sites can happen and it will resolve by itself. Pain around the incision sites resolve over several days. “Pins and needles” at the incision site due to the nerves being cut. These nerves will heal.