WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Exploratory laparoscopy is surgery to look for causes of pain, abnormal growths, bleeding, or disease in your abdomen. During this surgery, small incisions are made in your abdomen. A small scope and tools are inserted through these incisions. A scope is a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or surgeon as directed:
You may need to return to have your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Follow your primary healthcare provider or surgeon's instructions: You may need to keep the bandages on your incisions for 1 to 2 days or until your follow-up visit. After your follow-up visit, you may need to change your bandage 1 to 2 times a day.
- Wash your hands: Use soap and warm water to wash your hands. Do this before and after you care for your wound. Hand washing helps prevent an infection.
- Remove your bandages gently: If the bandage sticks to your wound, use warm water on the bandage and lift it off slowly. Lift the edges toward the center of your wound. Carefully wash around the wound with soap and water. Try not to get soap and water directly on your wound. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Ask how to clean your wounds after your stitches are removed.
- Pain: You may have neck or shoulder pain from gas used during your surgery. Rest and use heat on your shoulder to help decrease the pain. You may be more comfortable if you elevate your head and shoulders on several pillows.
- Rest: You may feel like resting more after your surgery. Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed.
- Prevent constipation: High-fiber foods, extra liquids, and regular exercise can help you prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber foods are fruit and bran. Prune juice and water are good liquids to drink. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work. You may also be told to take over-the-counter fiber and stool softener medicines. Take these items as directed.
- Vaginal bleeding: You may have vaginal bleeding for a day or two if your laparoscopy was done for a female problem.
Ask when you can bathe:
Ask your primary healthcare provider when you can take a shower or bath.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or surgeon if:
- You have a fever.
- You have pain in your abdomen or shoulder that does not go away after 2 days or gets worse.
- You have more vaginal bleeding or discharge than you expected.
- You have trouble having a bowel movement, or have diarrhea often.
- You have repeated vomiting.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- Your stitches are swollen, red, or have pus coming from them.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your incisions come apart.
- Your incisions bleed, or blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.