Pre-Operative Instructions for Laparoscopy

What should I do to get ready for surgery?

One week before your operation:

  • Discontinue any herbs or non-vitamin supplements. Some herbs such as St. John’s Wort might interact negatively with anesthesia medications.
  • Do not take any aspirin (Advil), ibuprofen (Motrin) and naprosyn (Aleve). These medications can increase the risk of bleeding. It is safe to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) as this medication does not effect the risk of bleeding.
  • It is safe to take over the counter cold medications that do not contain ibuprofen or aspirin, as well as over the counter sleep medications and vitamins. Please contact Dr. Willman with any questions about other supplements.
  • You will have a pre-operative appointment with Dr. Willman to review your medical history and plan for surgery. It is often helpful to write questions down before the appointment to help you remember what you want to ask.
  • Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum – less than 5 drinks a week.

Three days before your operation:

Dr. Willman may prescribe a pain medication for you called celecoxib (Celebrex) to start taking three days before your operation. It is in the same family as ibuprofen and Naprosyn, but does not increase the risk of bleeding. One study showed that patients who take this medication before surgery have less pain after surgery. You should not take this medication if you are allergic to the antibiotic Sulfa/

One day before your operation:

For some patients, Dr. Willman will recommend taking a laxative the day before the procedure. This is usually recommended if there is a concern that the bowel may be scarred to the uterus, tubes or ovaries. There are some studies that suggest if the bowel is injured during surgery, the repair of the injury is improved if the bowel is free of solid stool. This is still a controversial subject and the need for a laxative is based on each individual’s situation.

If you are prescribed a laxative, you may want to stay home the day before your scheduled operation.

Eight hours before your operation:

This is very important!

DO NOT eat or drink anything for eight hours before your scheduled procedure. This includes sips of water (unless taking prescribed medication approved by Dr. Willman), chewing gum and lozenges.

Why is this so important?

You will receive a general anesthetic. This means you will no longer have a gag reflex. If the stomach has increased gastric juices (which are stimulated by food & fluid), those acidic gastric juices can reflux up the esophagus and go down the air pipe (trachea).

Since you will not be able to cough it up, it can cause a serious chemical pneumonia. This is a standard precaution for all general anesthesia operations, but especially important in laparoscopy.

What can I expect the day of my operation?

Coming to your appointment

  • You will be asked to arrive at the hospital two hours before the scheduled procedure.
  • Wear something comfortable and loosely fits around your waist.
  • Do not bring any valuables such as jewelry with you.
  • Bring something light to read in case you have some waiting time. It might also help you relax.
  • Be sure to bring your insurance card and a photo ID.
  • Be sure to have a family member or friend come with you.

When you arrive for your appointment

  • When you arrive, the hospital will admit you and ask for your health insurance and personal information. The hospital will also ask you for your family member or friends contact information.
  • You and your family member or friend will be escorted to the pre-operative area where a nurse will greet you and ask for additional medical information.
  • You will be asked to undress completely and given a hospital gown to wear.
  • You will be given a cap to cover your hair.

During your appointment

  • The nurse will start an IV: this stands for IntraVenous line. It is a plastic tubing that is inserted into a vein in your arm.
  • Fluids will be administered through the IV to keep you hydrated. Oftentimes, Dr. Willman will order acetaminophen to be given through the IV. She may also prescribe additional celecoxib. Both of these medications can decrease the amount of pain you experience during the operation and when you wake up.
  • In the pre-operative area, you will meet your anesthesiologist. He or she will review your history to determine the right anesthesia for you.
  • Dr. Willman will also see you in the pre-operative area to answer any additional questions and go over the procedure with you once more.
  • Your family member or friend can stay with you until it is time to go in to the operating room.