Laparoscopic Right Colectomy FAQ

How long will I be in the hospital after my laparoscopic colectomy?

The average hospital stay is usually 3 days and will be determined by how quickly your intestines resume their normal function.

Will I have pain after the procedure?

Upon discharge from the hospital, you will be given a prescription for pain medication. Because pain medication can be constipating, be sure to drink lots of fluids and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It will also be helpful to take a stool softener such as Colace, Metamucil or Citrucel once or twice a day.

Because the right side of your colon was removed, you may experience loose stools for several days or even months. This is normal and will resolve after the remaining colon does the job of absorbing water. Being up and about after surgery is also helpful in regulating bowel function.

To minimize pain when you are moving about, support your incision with a small pillow or rolled up towel. Sleeping with a pillow under or between your knees will relieve stress on the incision area.

What can I eat after a laparoscopic right colectomy?

There are no restrictions on your diet after this procedure. You may find that some foods are better tolerated by your body and others are not. Use your own judgment and stay away from foods that may irritate your system. If you find that you are constipated after you are discharged, you may start to take Colace, Metamucil or Citrucel.

When will I get my stitches out after a laparoscopic right colectomy?

Your incision is closed with stitches which are below the skin. There are no stitches which need to come out. Over the incision you will find white steri-strips. These strips will fall off on their own. If they do not fall off by the first postoperative visit, your surgeon will remove them.

When can I shower after a laparoscopic right colectomy?

After your discharge from the hospital, it is ok to take a shower. Be careful not to scrub at the incision line; simply let the water run over the incision and gently pat the area dry.

When can I start exercising and driving after a laparoscopic right colectomy?

Following surgery, you are encouraged to do as much walking and activity as is comfortable. You may climb stairs, taking them one at a time and slowly.

You are not to operate a vehicle while you are having discomfort or taking pain medication. This will interfere with your safe driving. Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to resume driving.

You are asked not to do any lifting over 25 pounds for the first 4-6 weeks following surgery. The doctor will tell you when it is safe to do more. If lifting causes pain in your incision, please stop. If pain persists, contact our office and speak with the nurse.

What are the risks and complications associated with laparoscopic right colectomy?

Although not commonly seen, any incision is susceptible to infection. If you develop a fever, of 101 degrees or above, have unexpected pain, redness or drainage from the incision, please contact our office.

In addition, if you experience crampy abdominal pain or worsening abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, contact our office immediately.

When will I need a follow-up appointment after my laparoscopic right colectomy?

Please call our office a day or two after you go home to schedule your postoperative appointment for approximately two weeks after surgery. If you have any questions about your recovery, please do not hesitate to call our office.

Laparoscopic Right Colectomy