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Frequently Asked Questions about Laparoscopic Surgery

What are the benefits of laparoscopy?

The smaller incisions are less painful. As a result, we see a decreased need for pain medication, shorter recovery time and better cosmetic result. Patients are able to eat when they feel ready, and there is less internal scarring.

What are the risks of laparoscopic surgery?

The risks are similar for laparoscopic, open and vaginal surgery. There is always a possibility that the surgeon cannot complete the procedure laparoscopically and a larger incision may be needed. This risk is small, as are the risks of bleeding, infection, damage to the bladder, bowel, blood vessels and ureters. With any surgery, there may be unforeseen risks and a potential, but exceedingly rare risk of death.

What can I expect the day of surgery?

The day of surgery you will be asked to arrive early where you will meet members of our nursing and anesthesia staff. They will start your IV, and along with your surgeon, review the planned procedure and obtain your consent.

During surgery, pneumatic stockings are used to massage your legs and prevent blood clots. Depending on the procedure you are having, you may receive antibiotics to prevent infection or have a catheter placed after you are asleep.

What can I expect immediately after surgery?

Generally, you may experience any of these symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Scratchy throat, if a breathing tube was placed
  • Uterine cramping
  • Shoulder pain from the gas used to see during laparoscopy
  • Feeling bloated or gassy
  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge (like a menses)
 What is the normal recovery time after laparoscopic surgery?
This is usually individualized based on the surgery and the patient. Most patients require pain medication for one week following surgery. It may be advised to avoid intercourse, baths, douching, strenuous exercise or heavy lifting (above 15 lbs.) for 4-6 weeks. Many patients choose to return to work at two weeks, provided their job is not physically strenuous. 
When should you contact your physician after laparoscopy?

Do not hesitate to call the office (314-977-7455) or after hours exchange (314-388-6233) if you develop any of the following symptoms: 

  • Redness, warmth or heavy bleeding from the incisions
  • Fever (above 100.5) or chills
  • Problems with urination or bowel movements
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or increasing abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain
Can I have other procedures performed at the same time?

Yes, coordination of other procedures, commonly bladder procedures for incontinence, can be performed.