A long incision will be made in the skin on your abdomen. The organs will be examined for disease. The doctor may take a
biopsy of suspicious tissue. The tissue can be examined under a microscope. If the problem is something that can be repaired or removed, it will be done at this time. The opening will be closed using staples or stitches.
How Long Will It Take?
About 1-4 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
Average Hospital Stay
You will be in the hospital several days. If you have problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
You may need to wear special socks or boots to help prevent blood clots.
You may have a foley catheter for a short time to help you urinate.
You may use an incentive spirometer to help you breathe deeply.
Your bowels will work more slowly than usual. Chewing gum may help speed the process of your bowel function returning to normal.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
Not allowing others to touch your incision
It may take several weeks for you to recover. Your activities will be restricted for the first couple of weeks. Once cleared by your doctor, you can slowly resume normal activity. You may be given a prescription to help with any remaining discomfort. Follow the wound care instructions to prevent infection.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
Fever or chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
Increasing pain or pain that does not go away
Your abdomen becomes swollen or hard to the touch
or constipation that lasts more than 3 days
Bright red or dark black stools
Lightheadedness or fainting
Persistent nausea and vomiting
Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Pain or difficulty with urination
Swelling, redness, or pain in your leg
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Last reviewed March 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 3/23/2015
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