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What is a laparoscopy?

A laparoscopy is a surgery that is done through small incisions (cuts) on the skin.

Depending on what type of laparoscopic surgery you need, there may be 2, 3, or 4 incisions.

Because the incisions in a laparoscopy are small (usually less than 1.5cm or 1 inch), your healing is faster and you will go home the same day as your surgery.

How to care for yourself after a GYN laparoscopy:

  • Walk on the day of surgery. Short walks around the house or to get up to the bathroom help decrease pain over time, improve your breathing, and lower the chance of getting a blood clot after surgery.
  • Whenever possible, sit upright in a chair when resting rather than lying flat.
  • Eat what you feel like eating, but please stop when you feel full or if you feel like throwing up.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and an NSAID (ibuprofen or naproxen) every 6 hours for the first 72 hours (3 days) after your surgery even if you do not have pain.
  • If you have pain that is not well controlled with acetaminophen and an NSAID, take the oxycodone (narcotic) that has been prescribed for you.
  • Wait 24 hours after surgery before taking a shower.

In the shower, allow warm soapy water to rinse over your incisions (cuts) but do not scrub. Pat them dry with a towel.

  • The incisions are covered with a surgical glue. This will start to peel in about one week. If it is bothering you, you can remove it faster by gently rubbing it with petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
  • The stitches underneath the glue will dissolve on their own. You do not need to have them removed.
  • Do not lift, pull, or push anything more than 10lbs for 2 weeks (including backpacks).
  • Do not participate in sports or activities where you might fall or be hit in the belly for 2 weeks. Avoid swimming in lakes or using hot tubs until skin is healed.
  • Gentle activity such as walking or light jogging is encouraged.
  • If you have a period, you may use a tampon. Please remember to change it every 4-6 hours and do not sleep with it in overnight.
  • If not already scheduled, please schedule a post-operative follow up within 2 weeks.

Call the clinic for any of the following:

  • Fever is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Unable to keep food, water, or medications down due to vomiting
  • Pain is not helped by medications
  • Redness or drainage from the incisions/cuts
  • Bleeding that soaks a bandage in less than 12 hours

Reviewed GYN 7/2022 

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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