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After a laparoscopy, you can expect:

  • Mild cramping, like a menstrual period
  • Light bleeding or spotting for up to a week
  • Soreness/pain around the incision(s) ("like an elephant stepped on your belly")
  • Feeling tired
  • Sometimes feeling sick (nausea) from the medicines you had while you were asleep
  • Soreness/pain in shoulder, chest, or breast (due to air under the diaphragm)

Plan to:

  1. Rest on the day of surgery, and then over the next 2 days, slowly increase your activities.
  2. Begin drinking sips of clear liquids (water, juice, tea, caffeine-free soda) then introduce bland foods the day after surgery.
  3. Take ibuprofen or naproxen around the clock (while awake) for 5-7 days to treat cramping.
  4. Take stronger pain medicine (Tramadol, Vicodin or Percocet) as needed in addition to ibuprofen for pain around the incision
  5. Use a pad, not a tampon for any bleeding.
  6. Keep the incision dry for 24 hours (no water on incision); you may shower after that.
  7. Leave the "plastic wrap" on the incision for 48 hours then remove.
  8. Leave the steri-strips or butterfly tape on for 7 days and then remove.
  9. Go back to work or school in 3-7 days.
  10. Begin taking or keep taking any medicine that was prescribed before the surgery or after the surgery (including hormones or birth control pills).
  11. Call the clinic to make a follow-up appointment. You should tell the scheduler that this is a "post-op" visit. Usually, this visit will be within 1-3 weeks.
  12. Do not put anything in your vagina (no tampons, no douching, no sex) until after you have had your follow-up appointment.

Call the clinic if you have:

  • Bleeding heavier than a menstrual period
  • Cramping/pain that is not relieved by medicines
  • Severe vomiting
  • Fever higher than 101° F
  • Redness or drainage from the incision

Reviewed GYN 7/2017 

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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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