Post-operative Care

Mark Boccola Westmead Atrium

In hospital care

After surgery you will be taken from the operating room to recovery, an area in the operating suite where patients are monitored closely as they wake up from the general anaesthetic.

Until you are drinking satisfactorily you will receive intravenous fluids through your cannula. You may also be on antibiotics through the cannula to prevent any infection.

Shoulder tip pain is common after laparoscopic surgery and occurs in many patients for the first 24hours. It is due to distension by the gas used to inflate the abdominal cavity during surgery, simple analgesics are usually sufficient to relieve the pain but you will be given additional medication if required.

Once you are mobilising, your pain is under control and you can tolerate fluids you will be able to go home. 

At home post discharge

When you leave the hospital, you will be given a script for several medications, the nurses and pharmacist will go over the instructions with you.

You can restart your regular medications once you are at home. However, if you are taking blood thinners Dr Boccola will advise you when to recommence them.

Wound pain is usually mild In the first week, pain relief medication you receive on discharge should be adequate. After this, if simple over the counter analgesia is not sufficient please contact Dr Boccola.

There will be several small incisions where the laparoscopic instruments were placed, they will be covered by waterproof dressings. Bruising around these incisions can occur and is not alarming, it will resolve over time. The sutures are buried under the skin and will dissolve over several weeks.

If there are small amounts of ooze from a wound site, the dressing can be removed and the wound cleaned. Allow it to dry before a fresh dressing is applied.

You may shower with the waterproof dressings and they can be removed 7 days after the procedure. Once the dressings are removed the wounds need to be kept clean and dry.

At Home Post Discharge


You will receive a phone call 1 week after surgery from our practice to check on how you are recovering.

However please call our practice if you have any concerns or questions before this.

Your first follow-up appointment will be with Dr Boccola 4 weeks after your surgery.

Our practice should be contacted if you have any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain not controlled by oral tablets
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • If you are concerned regarding any symptoms that are not settling  


Before surgery you will be provided with a guide for diet progression and physical recovery.

A fluid diet is commenced after weight loss surgery, more information can be found here . You will receive instructions from our dietician at your pre-surgery consult regarding progressing through puree phase before returning to solids.

It is common to have some bloating after abdominal surgery but this should return to normal once passing flatus and opening your bowels. It is important to avoid constipation by drinking plenty of fluids, walking and you may need a gentle laxative such as prune juice, Benefibre or Metamucil.

It takes 2-3 weeks for the incisions to heal completely. Regular exercise such as walking will help you recover faster and prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) but wait 4 weeks before vigorous exercise and 6 weeks before any heaving lifting.

Driving can commence when you won’t be distracted by pain and you are no longer taking opiate analgesia. You should avoid airplane travels and long road trips for 2 weeks to reduce the risk of DVT.

If you notice swelling in your calf or difficulty breathing please contact our office immediately and a scan of the affected area will be performed to assess for DVT or pulmonary embolism.

Generally, you can return to work 1-2 weeks after the operation. If your work requires heavy physical activity you may need another 2 weeks of recovery until abdominal wall soreness completely resolves. 


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