Discharge Instructions for Pelvic Laparoscopy

You had a procedure called pelvic laparoscopy. During this procedure, your doctor used small incisions in your abdomen to examine your abdominal or pelvic organs and possibly to perform a procedure. Recovery from laparoscopy is faster than from open abdominal surgery (called laparotomy). Here's what you can do to speed your recovery following surgery.

What to Expect

Remember, you can expect the following:

  • The incisions on your abdomen may be tender or sore.

  • Pain in your upper back or shoulders from the gas used to enlarge your abdomen to allow your doctor to see inside your pelvis and perform the procedure. The pain usually goes away in a day or two.

  • Light bleeding from the vagina

  • Soreness, bruising, and mild swelling near incisions

  • Burning with urination for a few days

  • Constipation

  • Feeling tired, especially for the first 24 hours you are home


  • Take it easy for the rest of the day after you are discharged. Each day, do a little more as you feel able.

  • Don’t stay in bed. Get up and move around.

  • Don’t drive until your doctor advises that it's safe.

  • Avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks.

  • Don't put anything in your vagina until your doctor tells you it is safe to do so. This includes tampons, douches and sexual activity.

Incision and Other Care

  • Take pain medications as directed.

  • Don’t drink alcohol while on pain medications.

  • Wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen peas in a plastic bag; then cover with a thin cloth. Place it over the bandaged incision area for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Do this as needed to reduce pain and keep swelling down.

  • Don’t pull off the strips of tape (Steri-Strips) used to close your incisions. Let them fall off on their own.

  • If you have a gauze bandage, replace it after 24 hours.

  • Shower as needed. If you still have a bandage, cover it with plastic wrap to keep it dry.

  • Don’t swim or take a tub bath for 2 weeks.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.



When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increased abdominal pain

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Diarrhea that doesn’t go away

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C)

  • Shaking chills

  • Signs of infection around the incision (redness, drainage, warmth, pain)

  • Sudden chest pain or shortness of breath