Laparoscopy – also known as laparoscopic surgery – is a type of minimally invasive surgery that
helps to diagnose and treat certain issues of the pelvis or abdomen. It is much less painful than
conventional ‘open’ surgery and patients recover much quicker and experience much less pain
as a consequence.
Laparoscopy offers many advantages and benefits. The main advantage is that it’s easier and
faster to recover compared to open surgery, where large incisions are used to gain access to
the affected area.
For people recovering from laparoscopy, it is important to understand what to expect from the
recovery process and how to take care of yourself afterwards. This article will explore
laparoscopy in more detail and provide information on what you can expect after the procedure.
What Is Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is performed by making small
incisions in the abdomen or pelvis. A small camera is then inserted into these incisions to allow
your surgeon to get a better look at what is happening internally. It is then used to perform the
operation e.g. cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) and to fix hernia of all types.
How Is A Laparoscopy Performed?
A laparoscopy is performed using one or more small incisions in the abdomen or pelvic area.
Often, these incisions will be placed around the belly button. A tube will be used to pump gas
into the abdomen, allowing the surgeon to better see the internal organs and have room to
work, depending on the procedure.
A laparoscope is then inserted into the small cuts the surgeon has made, allowing the surgeon
to get a good visual of the inside of the abdomen. The images from the laparoscope will be
relayed to a monitor in the operating theatre so the surgeon can accurately identify and then fix
any problems. If the laparoscopy is being utilised as treatment, small surgical tools will also be
inserted for the surgeon to carry out any procedure.
To prepare for the procedure, your doctor may recommend the following:
● No eating or drinking between six before the surgery
● Avoid taking any blood thinning medications in the days leading up to the procedure –
the surgeon will guide you about this depending on the particular drugs and conditions.
What To Expect After Laparoscopy
After a laparoscopy, it is normal to feel some pain and discomfort. This may be worse around
the incision sites, and many patients experience mild to moderate nausea. This is normal for
laparoscopic patients and should not be cause for concern. Any pain, nausea or discomfort
should pass within a week or two of the surgery. Bloating and discomfort resulting from the gas
used in the procedure are also common but should clear up within days.
If a breathing tube was used during your laparoscopy, you might also experience a sore throat
due to irritation from the tube. If you’re concerned about any of the side effects you’re
experiencing, discuss this with your doctor. They will be able to advise on the right steps to take
and provide pain relief options if needed.
Laparoscopy Recovery Time
There are a lot of factors that can determine how long it will take you to recover from a
laparoscopy. In general, laparoscopy has faster recovery times than traditional open surgery,
which is why it is such a popular option for many patients. Factors that can impact the speed of
● The age and general health of the patient
● The presence of complications following surgery
● The exact operation
If the laparoscopy was used to diagnose a condition, recovery will be quicker. Patients can
normally expect to resume their normal activities within a few days, though you may be advised
to avoid any heavy lifting for a longer period. If the surgery was used to treat conditions like a
gallbladder or hernia , this can take longer, with up to three weeks of recovery time required.
When To Remove Dressing After Laparoscopy
After your laparoscopy, the incisions will be closed using stitches and then covered with a
dressing. Usually, this dressing can be taken off 24 hours after the surgery. Once the dressing
has been taken off, it is normally recommended that you carefully shower or wash the area,
patting it dry using a fresh, clean towel or clean paper tissues or allowing it to air dry.
It is important to keep the incisions clean and dry to speed up the recovery time and prevent
complications. If you’re unsure whether your dressing should come off yet, you should always
speak to your doctor first. They will be able to advise and ensure that you take the right steps for
How Long Does Swelling Last After Laparoscopy?
Swelling and bloating are common after a laparoscopy, as some of the air used to inflate the
abdomen may remain in the body. This can be uncomfortable, and for most patients, it will clear
up after 48 hours after surgery.
When To See A Doctor
It is crucial to be aware of any possible signs of serious complications following your
laparoscopy. You should contact your doctor or the NHS 111 service if you notice any of the
following. It should be stressed that these complications are very rare:
● High temperature
● Abdominal pain that gets worse, not better
● Redness, bleeding or discharge around the incision sites
● Severe or constant vomiting
● Pain during urination
● Pain and swelling in the legs
You’ll also be recommended to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after the
laparoscopy so that they can help you get medical attention should possible complications arise.
If you want advice or help during your recovery, you should not hesitate to get in touch with us
here at Private Surgeon Milton Keynes. Mr Achal Khanna is a leading laparoscopic surgeon in
the field, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re in the best possible hands.