Do This – Not That: Preparing for a Laparoscopy

A laparoscopy may be a minimally invasive procedure, but it’s still a surgery. So you’ll want to prepare for it. You’ll need to discuss types of anesthesia, pre- and post-op restrictions, and how much time to take time take off work for your procedure.

Whether or not you are nervous, being prepared ahead of time can make things go more smoothly. Here are some simple tips you can follow to help you get ready for surgery and sail more smoothly through recovery.


  • Make arrangements for kids and pets.
  • Make arrangements with your employer.
  • Get all of your paperwork in order.
  • Make the most of your pre-op appointment.
  • Ask if and when you need to stop taking medications prior to surgery.
  • Ask about when you need to stop eating and drinking before surgery.
  • Prepare meals ahead of time for your recovery period.
  • Give your house a thorough cleaning so you can ignore it for a bit.
  • Put clean sheets on your bed.
  • Prepare a spot for recovery.
  • Buy some books, magazines, and DVDs to occupy you during recovery.
  • Ask your doctor if you can fill your prescription for pain medications early.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you to and from surgery.
  • Choose a loose fitting outfit to wear to and from the surgery center.
  • Wear slip on shoes the day of surgery.
  • Get a small pillow you can hold over your tummy when coughing and sneezing.
  • Ask your doctor for tips for dealing with discomfort from CO2.
  • Follow all pre-op instructions given to you.
  • Do what you can to stay well before surgery.
  • Take some time to pamper yourself.



  • Don’t be embarrassed if you are nervous.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
  • Don’t take much with you – especially if you won’t be spending the night.
  • Don’t shave or wax in the days before surgery without your doctor’s permission.
  • Don’t alter any bowel prep instructions.
  • Don’t use nail polish without checking with your doctor.
  • Don’t use any make-up, perfume, lotion, deodorant, hair spray, etc. the day of surgery.
  • Don’t wear any jewelry to the surgical center.
  • Don’t smoke.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Do This – Not That: Preparing for a Laparoscopy


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