What to expect after surgery

It is important to realise that  although most of our surgery is performed using minimal access techniques, it is still major surgery in many cases.  Most people feel very tired after surgery which is the body's normal reaction to the healing process which demands significant drains on one's energy. Take plenty of rest.  
You will no doubt have some pain.  You will be given pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs on discharge from hospital which should help.  After laparoscopic surgery people often experience pain in their shoulders and back.  This is caused by the carbon dioxide gas forming a weak acid with water which stimulates the diaphragm and the body relates pain in the diaphragm to the shoulders.  This usually responds to simple pain killers.
Mr Lower usually leaves a litre or so of fluid called icodextrin, which looks and feels like water, in the peritoneal cavity to reduce the likelihood and impact of pelvic adhesions after surgery.  This can sometimes leak out of the laparoscopic wound sites and may cause quite an alarming swelling of the labia.  This is nothing to be concerned about and will settle within a few days. The fluid is often blood-stained.
It is not uncommon to experience some vaginal bleeding after gynaecological surgery.  This may last for up to 2 weeks.  If it becomes heavier or causes concern please contact Mr Lower.
You may eat and drink normally after gynaeclogical surgery.  Try to drink plenty of water to maintain a satisfactory urine output and ensure you do not become constipated.

Once you begin to feel better you can start to resume your normal activities.  Most people feel up to driving after a few days following laparoscopic or hysteroscopic surgery.  You should not drive for 24 hours after a general anaesthetic or up to 6 weeks following a laparotomy (open surgery).  

You can resume physical exercise slowly during the post-operative period.  Reduce the intensity of your training and try to avoid exercises which increase the intra-abdominal pressure, such as sit-ups and crunches.  If you experience pain, you are doing too much.  Stop and rest for a few days.

© Adrian Lower 2014