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Surgical Services

Pre-Op Info >> Exploratory Laparatomy

Exploratory Laparatomy

Posted On: 2011-12-19

These are guidelines to follow post operatively.  Please refer to the hospital discharge instructions given to you for any additional information.


  • Gradually return to your normal preoperative diet.
  • Fullness with meals is normal, so do not force overeating.



  • Resume any regular medications unless otherwise instructed.
  • If needed, a prescription for pain will be provided.



  • Proper activity promotes healing, return of muscle tone and less pain with movement.
  • Walk indoor/outdoor as much as possible.
  • May go up and down stairs.
  • Take frequent rest periods. Fatigue and tiring easily are normal following surgery.
  • Avoid driving, if possible, for about 2 weeks.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and exercise, straining, heavy house or yard work for 4-6 weeks, unless otherwise instructed by the doctor.
  • The doctor will discuss return to work and/or school dates.



  • Apply light gauze dressing if desired or drainage is present.
  • You may shower daily, but avoid sitting/soaking in the tub unless OK'd by the doctor.
  • Good mechanical cleansing with soap and water is sufficient.  Wash in the direction of the incision and dry well.
  • Any remaining sutures/staples will be removed in the office.



4-6 weeks is generally required for healing.  During that time you may expect:

  • Mild to moderate pain controlled by oral pain medicine.
  • Minimal swelling and redness of incision. 
  • Little or no drainage, unless a drain was used, then expect minimal to moderate bloody/yellow drainage.



  • Excessive bleeding or drainage occurs. 
  • Excessive swelling or redness of incision.
  • Temperature over 101 degrees.
  • Unusual pain, nausea, vomiting or severe abdominal bloating with no passage of gas.


IF OFFICE IS CLOSED and an EMERGENCY arises, please call 911 or go to the Emergency Department.
A MISA surgeon can be reached by calling the office answering service at (309) 677-6019

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