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What to Expect After Laparoscopic Surgery

Day of Surgery

When you awake, you should begin your breathing and leg exercises. If you do not have a stomach tube down your nose, you may be allowed to drink liquids. You will be encouraged to sit in a chair and to take a short walk.

First Day After Surgery

You will be allowed thicker liquids and probably solid foods today. Drink or eat only what you can comfortably tolerate. If you feel nauseated, stop drinking and eating for an hour or so and try again later. If this does not help enough, ask for a medication to help your nausea. Avoid carbonated beverages.

You will be started on pain pills. These work just as well as medications given into your vein but take slightly longer to start working. Make sure to ask for your pain medications as soon as you feel too uncomfortable. Keep doing your breathing exercises. Walking is a simple and important exercise which helps improve your recovery. At least five times a day, you need to get out of bed and walk. This will reduce the muscle spasms, reduce your pain, help your breathing and improve blood flow in your legs. Use your pain medications to keep yourself comfortable and to help you walk. If you have a drain in your side, it will probably be taken out today. You have a 25 to 30 percent chance of going home today.

Second Day After Surgery

If you are tolerating oral liquids, your intravenous fluids will be stopped today. You will start some solid food. You will probably be on pain pills. Keep walking and doing your exercises. You may be able to go home today. You have a 30 percent chance of going home today.

Third Day After Surgery

If you are doing everything from day two, you will probably be going home today. If not, do not worry. These are only guidelines about how things may go. Everyone is different and sometimes it takes another day or two before you are ready for discharge.

What to Expect Each Day After Closure of an Ileostomy

Recovery after closure of an ileostomy is very similar to that after laparoscopic surgery. Please see the above guidelines. Patients are most likely to be able to go home on the first or second post-operative day.