Laparoscopy Recovery

Your laparoscopy recovery starts in a recovery room, where you'll begin your recuperation immediately following surgery. During this time, several symptoms, such as nausea, pain, and chills, can occur. It's important to tell your doctor if something feels abnormal, so you can receive the proper care and feel more comfortable. Once home, you should avoid heavy lifting for at least a couple of days.

Moving to the Recovery Room After Laparoscopy

After the laparoscopy, you will be moved to a recovery room where you will be monitored closely as you recover from the anesthesia.
You will be kept here until your healthcare providers feel that you are recovering well, usually one to two hours.
Sometimes, during recovery from laparoscopy, patients may shiver or experience nausea. Both of these symptoms can be related to anesthesia. Your healthcare providers can give you medication to help these symptoms. Warm blankets are also available to comfort you.
Following the procedure, it is common to feel some pain in your abdomen. You may also feel bloated. Pain medicine can be given, should you feel any discomfort.
Remember that your healthcare providers want you to recover without any problems, so be sure to report anything that feels abnormal or "not right" after your laparoscopy.

Recovering From Spinal Anesthesia

If spinal anesthesia was used, your legs may still feel numb, and you may not be able to move them for several hours. While you are in the recovery room, you will not be able to walk to the bathroom, so you will need to use a bedpan. Your healthcare provider can help you with this, if necessary. The feeling in your abdomen and legs will slowly return.

Laparoscopy Recovery After Leaving the Hospital

When you leave the hospital to continue your recovery, you will be given instructions for taking care of your body after the surgery, and specific instructions for driving, activity level, medication, and any further restrictions necessary.
Your healthcare provider will go over any symptoms that require immediate medical attention, such as fever or increasing abdominal pain. You will be given pain medicine to help control any pain you might feel. Some patients may also have shoulder pain, which is a side effect of the carbon dioxide gas placed in the abdomen. Lying down or kneeling with your chest down usually relieves this discomfort.
After your laparoscopic surgery, you will likely feel tired and want to rest. However, the next day you should be able to get up and move around. Many patients are able to go to work the day after surgery, and others may be ready in two to three days; however, each individual situation will be different.
In any case, you should not participate in any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for at least a couple of days. You should expect to see your doctor for a follow-up visit about two weeks after the laparoscopy.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
5 Common Pain Medication Fears