Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care: School of Medicine: University of California, Irvine

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Health Facts

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery, also referred to as minimally invasive surgery, is performed through keyholes (small incision 0.5-1.5 cm) using images display on TV monitors for magnification. The advantage of this procedure versus a larger incision (laparoptomy) is fast recovery and less pain.

Laparoscopic Appendectomy Surgery

What to expect for a Laparoscopic Appendectomy Surgery

Types of anesthesia

  • General Anesthesia: where you will not know what is occurring when the surgery starts

Occasionally, you may experience a sore throat after surgery, but it should improve over the next 24 hours after surgery.

Day of discharge

The patient will usually spend either over night or a few days in the hospital.

What to expect after surgery and post-surgical care

  • Pain: you will experience pain at the locations where the incisions are made. Pain medication will be usually given through the intravenous line. As you can consume food the pain medication will be switch to orally.
  • If you wake up with a tube going through your nose, it is because your appendix was ruptured. The pus leak into the belly can make the intestine not move as regularly as it should be. You will mostly experience more pain than those whose appendix was not ruptured.
  • An upset stomach and occasional vomiting can occur. Please let your doctors (anesthesiologist and surgeon) know if you have history of nausea or vomiting during a car ride or after surgery.
  • Your doctor will give you the instructions on how to care for the wound

Activities (Please follow the detailed instructions given by your doctor)

  • Rest and increase your activities gradually over time
  • Practice with the incentive spirometer when you are confined in the bed

When to contact a doctor

  • Fever
  • Persistent abdominal pain and pelvic pain
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Discharge/drainage from the wound

Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

What to Expect for a Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

Types of anesthesia

  • General Anesthesia: where you will not know what is occurring when the surgery starts

Occasionally, you may experience a sore throat after surgery, but it should improve over the next 24 hours after surgery.

Day of discharge

The patient will usually be discharged the same day of surgery or sometimes the patient will be spending overnight in the hospital.

What to expect after surgery and post-surgical care

  • Bruises around the wound
  • Pain: you will experience pain at the location where the incisions are made. In addition, you may experience shoulder or upper back pains. The shoulder or upper back pain usually resolves itself over 24 to 72 hours.
  • An upset stomach and occasional vomiting can occur. Please let your doctors (anesthesiologist and surgeon) know if you have history of nausea or vomiting during a car ride or after surgery.
  • Muscle aches can occur due to excessive lying in operating room table without moving
  • Diarrhea
  • Minor inflammation or drainage at the surgical would sites
  • Loss of appetite for few days

Activities (Please follow the detailed instructions given by your doctor)

  • Bed rest and gradually increase activities
  • Return to normal activities in 7 to 10 days

When to contact a doctor

  • Increasing abdominal girth and pale (emergency room visit)
  • Persistent or worsening of abdominal pain despite of pain medication
  • Infection of an incision
  • Fever >101
  • Anorexia, persistent vomiting and dehydration

Laparoscopic GERD Surgery

What to Expect for Laparoscopic Fundolplication Surgery

Types of anesthesia

  • General Anesthesia: where you will not know what is occurring when the surgery starts

Occasionally, you may experience a sore throat after surgery, but it should improve over the next 24 hours after surgery.

Day of discharge

Patients will stay in the hospital for several days with a nasal gastric tube in place.

What to expect after surgery and post-surgical care

  • You wake up with a tube going into the nose to the stomach
  • Bruises around the wound
  • Pain: you will experience pain at the location where the incisions are made. In addition, you may experience shoulder or upper back pain. The shoulder or upper back pain usually resolves itself over 24 to 72 hours.
  • Muscle aches can occur as a result of lying in operating room table without moving
  • Loss of appetite for few days

Activities (Please follow the detailed instructions given by your doctor)

  • Bed rest and gradually increase activities
  • Practice the use of incentive spirometer if you are confined in the bed
  • Return to their normal activities in 7 to 10 days

When to contact a doctor

  • Chest pain, if you have not had it before surgery
  • Pain associated with swallowing that gives a sensation of food at stuck in the food pipe.
  • Fever
  • Anorexia, or persistent vomiting and dehydration.
  • Infection at the incisions

Laparoscopic Resection of Colon and Rectum

What to Expect for a Laparoscopic Resection of Colon and Rectum

Day before surgery

Generally a bowel preparation is needed, please follow the directions given by your doctor

Types of anesthesia

  • General: where you will not know what is occurring when the surgery starts

Occasionally, you may experience a sore throat after surgery, but it should improve over the next 24 hours after surgery.

Day of discharge

Anticipate to stay in the hospital for few days after surgery (open procedure: 10 days, laparoscopic: 5 days)

What to expect after surgery and post-surgical care

  • Mild discomfort or pain: Pain medication will be given through an intravenous line administered by a nurse. Alternately, pain medication can be administered through a pump with a programed dosage of pain medication that will deliver when you push a button.
  • Nothing by mouth or clear liquid for the first 24 hours
  • A pouch in the abdomen
  • Keep your bandage clean and dry
  • Nausea and vomiting may occur. Pleas let your doctors (anesthesiology and surgeon ) know if you have a history of nausea or vomiting during a car ride of after surgery.

Activities (Please follow the detailed instructions given by your doctor)

  • Bed rest and with increasing activities during the hospitalizatio.
  • Practice with the incentive spirometer to prevent collapsing of lung and development of fever
  • You are encouraged to return to normal activities such as, showering, driving, walking up the stairs, light lifting and work as soon as you feel comfortable
  • No heavy lifting or strain for 6-8 weeks after open procedure
  • Learn to handle and exchange the pouch

When to contact a doctor

  • Persistent and worsening of abdomen pain
  • Redness or swelling around the incision
  • The incision is warm to touch
  • Drainage from the incision
  • Sudden difficult in breathing and chest pain and swollen leg
  • Fever >101°F