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Tips for Preparing Yourself for Laparoscopic Surgery!

Dr. Arun Kalpdev 89% (177 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, Fellowship in Laparoscopic and Robotic Onco-Surgery, Diploma in Advanced Gynaec Laparoscopic Surgery
Gynaecologist, Mohali  •  18 years experience
Tips for Preparing Yourself for Laparoscopic Surgery!

Being a female is an icon of responsibility in many perspectives. The female figure shares a huge responsibility in the family (husband, kids, other members), society, self, workplace etc. Hence it becomes necessary that a woman must understand what all arrangements she needs to make herself comfortable during days when she is going for laparoscopic surgery and after surgery.

Normally admission in the hospital is done one day before the surgery. During the day of surgery, you can be discharged if your clinical condition is fine. Usually it takes, on an average, 2-3 days of hospital stay. U need to make arrangements at home for 2-3 days when you are absenting from your respective responsibilities.

Before you leave for hospital, for the surgery  

  • Make sure that you have informed your absence at a particular place (e.g. workplace, family etc) for specific time period.
  • If you have got an insurance then you need to complete your paperwork for claiming benefits of surgery from the same.
  • You should stop taking all medicines / diets which has got tendency to thin the blood e.g. vitamins, natural supplements, any analgesics that may contain aspirin (salicylic acid) or any blood thinner medicines. This might increase chances of blood loss during surgery. Usually your surgeon makes notice of all these issues but, if missed by any chance, then you need to inform your surgeon about these.
  • You need to arrange someone who can accompany you on the day of the surgery and can help during your stay at hospital. This person must be someone with whom you are comfortable because he/she may have to help you go to the bathroom, get dressed, etc.
  • Arrangements of meals should be made beforehand, at your home. You can buy or prepare several meals ahead of time since after surgery you will feel weak and will not have the energy to cook.
  • You should do your house cleaning and laundry beforehand.
  • You should select comfortable clothing for your convalescence.
  • You should select underclothing made up of cotton or satin as these textures will be less irritating to the wound and will allow you to slip out of bed more easily.
  • You should prepare the part of the house where you will recuperate after surgery during the first few days. You can arrange clean sheets, pillows, heating pad, analgesics, reading material, remote control, telephone, etc at your selected place so that you can manage things easily.
  • You can buy some good magazines, arrange few movies so that you can keep yourself occupied during your convalescence.

What to pack

Mostly the hospitals provide almost every required consumable. Still you should prepare your hospital bag and should go over its contents with the person who will be accompanying you so that he/she knows what you packed and where you placed the items. Make sure to pack the following:

  • Health insurance and hospital cards
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Mobile charger and earphones
  • Reading material
  • Lip balm
  • Lozenges
  • Absorbent disposable tissue paper
  • Pillow.

Pre-operative appointment with Surgeon

  • You should ask all your doubts regarding the laparoscopic surgical procedure e.g. what will be done in surgery? what all I shall expect after surgery? what kind of anaesthesia I shall be receiving?
  • You should understand the instructions given to you by your surgeon e.g. when to reach hospital? Where to reach in the hospital? When to stop eating? etc.
  • You should ask your surgeon whether he /she will be providing video recording / intra-operative pictures of your laparoscopic surgery.

The day before surgery

  • You should not wear any makeup, hairspray, body lotion or deodorant.
  • You should remove nail polish, jewellery and contact lenses.
  • You should wear loose clothing such a dress without any elastic at the waist.
  • You should wear an undergarment so that no fabric rubs against your navel after the procedure. Also, make sure your panties are loose /comfortable or a size larger than you usually wear as they will be more comfortable if your abdomen is swollen.
  • You should wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off since it is uncomfortable while bending, after the procedure.
  • When you arrive at the hospital, try to relax. Listening to soothing music / watching movie will help.

After the surgery

  • Once you are getting discharged from the hospital you should arrange a transport vehicle which has minimum tendency to give bumps when on road.  In the vehicle, recline the seat and place a pillow against your tummy to absorb the shock of bumps in the road.
  • Once at home you should avoid sleeping in day time. You should can keep yourself occupied with reading magazine / watching movies / listening to music etc. It is advisable to have a sound sleep in the night.
  • Your abdominal muscles are expected to be discomforting for the first few days. You should take medicines as advised.
  • Hold a pillow against your stomach if you sneeze or cough to lessen the pain.
  • Your shoulders might hurt the first few days. You should sit in a reclining position and place a heating pad on your shoulders. When you feel better, walk a little around the house.
  • To get out of bed, roll onto your side and then gradually sit up using your arms for support. After sitting wait for a while and watch for any giddiness. Giddiness is expected for a short while and should vanish in few minutes. Once you are stable then slip your feet out of bed and then stand up. Again, wait for a while and watch for any giddiness. Once you are perfectly fine then you should start walking.
  • Feel nauseous is common due to anesthetic medicines given during surgery or the medicines you might be receiving. To combat nausea, you can try few measures: rub a pad moistened with rubbing alcohol under your nose, lie down, breathe through the mouth, suck on a mint candy, eat dry crackers or drink ginger ale.
  • Diet should be gradually upgraded. You should start with liquids, initially, and slowly moving up to solid food. The anaesthesia and analgesics can cause severe constipation after surgery. High fiber foods are recommended to prevent constipation (e.g pears, prunes, asparagus, carrots, whole-wheat bread etc).
  • You should drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. Water intake helps in preventing constipation and helps in eliminating traces of the anaesthesia.
  • After the laparoscopic surgery wearing tampons is avoided. As wearing tampon might obscure the significant bleeding.
  • After the laparoscopic surgery intercourse / sexual activity is not prohibited till the surgeon recommends.
  • You may shower 24 hours after the surgery. Try to avoid contact of water with the stitches as this might delay healing of stitches.
  • After few days of surgery, you can apply vitamin E to the incision if the scar looks normal (and there are no signs of infection). Vitamin E promotes healing.
  • During recovery if you develop a fever, have difficulty urinating or experience heavy bleeding, contact your surgeon immediately or go to the hospital.
  • When you return to work, wear loose clothing and avoid wearing synthetic undergarments, which will irritate your navel.
  • It usually takes about a week to recover from a laparoscopy, a common and minimally invasive procedure. The secret to a speedy recovery is to take the necessary time and means to regain your energy.
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