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laparotomy recovery
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laparotomy recovery

Please let me know how to decrease the swelling in my stomach/abdomen caused by a recent laparotomy
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Avatar_f_tn
It just takes time.  It took me about three months for all to go back down to normal.  If you feel you have unusual swelling, pain or redness, be sure to alert your doctor.  Sometimes, infection can cause increased swelling.  Hang in there!
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1344474_tn?1276330162
I had laparotomy surgery on Monday and I can see bruising appearing.  I hope it is normal and not signs of internal bleeding!  But then if it was internal I wouldn't see it!
I seem to be pain free apart from when trying to get out of bed.  I don't know if it is the stitches staying put to keep the wound closed that is causing the pain or am I using stomach muscles that I should be trying to avoid using?
I guess the 'weight' of my swollen belly is also pulling on my stitches when I try to sleep.
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Avatar_f_tn
The pain you desribe is normal after surgery.  Everything pulls and aches.  Since your pain is specific to get out of bed, it does sound like your stomach muscles.  Try to roll on your side and push up with your hands to a seated position, before getting out of bed.  If you put a chair by your bed and use your arms to help you lift yourself, you will put less stress on your abdomen.  I did not see bruising after my surgery, but it seems reasonable that it could happen.   Redness, wound pain, fever or worsening bruising would be cause for concern.  I hope you feel better soon!
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1344474_tn?1276330162
Thanks hopeshell,  these sort of questions and worries seem to go through your mind but seem to trivial to pester a doctor with.  
I guess things here in UK are maybe approached and explained slightly different, maybe because of our 'free' NHS system.  I didn't even get asked "do you have any questions?" after the gyneocologist said he would operate!

Thank goodness I found everyone here!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have to have a laparotomy on Monday. I am terrified! What kind of pain will I experience? The surgery is only at 4 pm. I have a toddler and can't bear to be away from her. Is there a chance I can go home the following day? Will I be able to take care of her? Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
Once you are actually rolled into the operating room, you will be out before you know it.  Usually, the pain meds you will be given will keep you comfortable after the surgery.  You will be sore and it is a bit difficult to start the bowel process after an laparotomy because everything has been stopped for a time.  You will do fine though!  

In my opinion, thinking about an upcoming surgery and waiting for it to happen is much harder than the actual recovery.  I had to leave my two young kids and was also upset about that.  You won't be able to go home the same day with a laparatomy.  It is usually about a 3 day hospital stay.  

Make sure you do try to walk as soon as they say it is ok.  It helps with getting all back to normal.  Good luck with your surgery!  Best wishes for a speedy recovery!    
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Avatar_m_tn
Any update on the swelling?  I had a laparotomy on July 19th to remove a 16cm fibroid.  After the first week there was virtually no swelling and I had a flat stomach, but now the swelling has increased dramatically to even larger than I was before the surgery.  I'm wondering how long it will take for this to go down or if there is anything I can do to aid in the process?  I've heard everything from several weeks to several months.  I'm supposed to return to work in two weeks but as of now, I can hardly fit into any of my pants without discomfort.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am responding to several of you with this post:

Loose fitting clothes will be the rule for awhile.  Do you have anything with elastic waist bands or drawstrings?  Dresses are another option if pants are too uncomfortable.

As for getting out of bed, holding a pillow to the surgical area helps decrease some of the pain and pull on the area.

As for toddler care, you are going to need a helper for awhile.  You definitely will not be able to lift and carry a child for several weeks and you will be tiring very easily and unable to walk with any speed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a 30cm ovarian cyst along with a total hysterectomy on June 30th.  Thank goodness all was benign.  I also had a laparotomy with a vertical incision that runs from my navel to my pubic bone. The surgery was performed Monday and they wanted to discharge me on Wed. but I told them that my pain was still significant and they then kept me an additional day.  I probably could have gone home on the Wednesday.  My stomach is still swollen and I had significant bruising after surgery.  I have a lot of excess skin and a mushy belly which I can't wait to tackle with excercise to get rid of the swelling and tone up the muslces.  I know it will be a long road to regain the muscle tone as they were stretched out of shape for a long time. Be patient.......you will feel much better afterwards.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the info.  I'll try to stock up on dresses for the office before returning to work.  And I know I need to be more patient as well, I'm just used to being much more active.  Which brings me to another question, in terms of walking, how much were you told to do each day?  I've been going for one 20min walk a day, at very slow speeds of course.  I didn't get any specific guidance on this from my doctor, just that walking would help.
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Avatar_f_tn
I did not get specific directions on walking. For me, it was just walking around the house a few times a day. They just do not want a person to sit or lie down the whole day.  I think a 20 minute walk is longer than any of the little ones I took.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a laparotomy on a Monday and was discharged Friday morning.  I believe my gyn-onc said it is usually a 3-5 day stay in the hospital.  I was really conked out from the anesthesia and pain meds and wasn't awake for more than 5-10 mins at a time until Wednesday.  Obviously they have to get the pain under control, you have to be up and walking around and you have to pass gass or have a bowel movement before they'll let you go.  I wasn't ready before Friday... it was a very rough thing to recover from.  6 weeks recovery at home was very accurate.  I was on meds for pain that whole time and had no stamina at all.  Perhaps I'm a wuss :)  I never thought I was, but that surgery proved me wrong.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oops forgot to address the OP's original question... the swelling goes down with time.  I think mine took a couple months.
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