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Laparoscopic Surgery for Digestive Problems

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What Happens the Day of Laparoscopic Surgery? continued...

When you wake up from the operation, you will be in a recovery room. You will have an oxygen mask covering your nose and mouth. This mask delivers a cool mist of oxygen that helps eliminate the remaining anesthesia from your system and soothes your throat. Your throat may be sore from the breathing tube that provided you with air and anesthetic gases during the operation, but this soreness usually subsides after a day or two.

Once you are more alert, the nurse may switch your oxygen delivery device to a nasal cannula, small plastic tubing that hooks over your ears and lies beneath your nose. Depending on the percentage of oxygen measured in your blood, you may need to keep the oxygen in place for a while. The nurse will check the amount of oxygen in your blood (oxygen saturation) by placing a soft clip on one of your fingers (pulse oximetry).

Pain medication will be given as you recover.

After your operation, the nurses will begin to document all the fluids that you drink and measure and collect any urine or fluids you produce, including those from tubes or drains placed during the operation.

The tube that was passed from a nostril into your stomach (a nasogastric tube) during surgery will be removed in the recovery room, if it has not been removed already. You may begin to drink liquids the evening of the operation and will resume a solid diet the next morning. If you become nauseated or begin to vomit, your nasogastric tube may be reinserted. If this happens, don't be alarmed. Nausea and vomiting happen in approximately 5%-10% of people and occur because your intestines are temporarily disabled from the operation. In addition, anesthesia makes many people nauseous. For this reason, food and drink are given slowly for the first few days.

You will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk, starting the first day after the operation. The more you move the less chance for complications such as pneumonia or the formation of blood clots in your leg veins.

The length of your hospital stay will depend on the type of procedure you have and how quickly you recover. For example, the average hospital stay for a laparoscopic rectopexy ranges from one to two days and for a laparoscopic bowel resection, two to three days.

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