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What is laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube. The surgeon inserts the tube into small incisions (called ports) in the body. The tube has a video camera that allows the surgeon to see inside a patient’s body during the procedure. Patients often have shorter recovery times, less blood loss and less stress on their bodies. This often means shorter or no hospital stays and less risk of surgical complications.

What surgeries are offered laparoscopically?

  • Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  • Hernia repair
  • Appendectomy (appendix removal)
  • Bowel resection (removal of part or all of the colon)
  • Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus with or without removing tubes and ovaries)
  • Nephrectomy (removal of a kidney)
  • Whipple (removal of head of pancreas, part of small bowel, common bile duct and gallbladder)
  • Myomectomy (removal of fibroids from the uterus)
  • Removal of endometriosis
  • Liver resection

What can I expect during recovery?

While every patient has a unique experience, each patient undergoes regional or general anesthesia and spends time in recovery. Many laparoscopic surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis or may require only an overnight hospital stay. Whether you are at home or in the hospital, you should get out of bed at least four to five times each day. 

Some patients experience sharp and achy pain in the chest, shoulders or neck. Applying a heating pad or taking pain medication can help relieve some of the pain.  You may also see some bruising and fluid around the incision sites.

While this surgery is less traumatic, muscles were still cut, pushed and pull.  You will probably feel tired for at least the first six to 10 days after surgery.  It is important to:

  • Take it easy - no heavy lifting, strenuous exercise or driving
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Rest
  • Consider taking a multi-vitamin to help the body heal the first couple of weeks after surgery