Laparoscopic recovery is typically shorter than traditional surgery recovery. In the surgery, surgeons will insert a special camera and equipment into the patient through a series of small incisions. The benefits to this type of surgery include a much lower risk of infection and a faster recovery time. Other things to expect from laparoscopic recovery include excess gas, localized pain, nausea and bruising. Almost all laparoscopic surgeries are completed in an outpatient setting, with overnight stays being a rare occasion.
In order to allow for the insertion of the camera and surgical instruments, carbon dioxide gas is pumped into the body during surgery. This process creates space between the muscles and the organs, so that the surgeon can have a clear view of the area being operated on. After the surgery, the body absorbs the carbon dioxide harmlessly and expels it through the skin and possibly the intestines by passing gas. An increase in passing gas and related pain may therefore be experienced by the patient.
Pain at the surgical site can be a very alarming part of laparoscopic recovery, but this is usually pain that results from the CO2 that was pumped into the body for the surgery. If you had abdominal surgery, the gas may drift up to the shoulder area and collect there, causing pain. Relieve the pain by applying moist heat packs and taking over-the-counter pain medication. Restricting movement will also help. In time, the gas will exit the body.
Many people do not react well to anesthesia. Nausea, vomiting, headaches and jaw tension may result if you don't handle anesthesia well. Although some hospitals may provide medication to relieve these symptoms, most encourage patients to wait and allow the body to adjust naturally. On occasion, people have reported recurring nightmares after surgery and some have difficulty falling asleep. If this is an ongoing or serious problem, talk to your doctor.
Deep purple bruises can be common when recovering from laparoscopic surgery. Although the incisions were small, the muscles were cut, pulled and pushed during the surgery. Abdominal surgery often causes extensive bruising along the hip bones, even if the surgery was higher up the abdomen.
It is very common to feel exhausted for the first six to 10 days after surgery. Although the laparoscopic recovery period is faster, the body still needs time to heal from the effects of surgery. You should balance rest so your body can recover with gradual movement so you can get your body back to normal. Short walks, going up and down stairs and moving your upper body all stimulates blood flow and will help your body to heal.