Philip L. Leggett, MD
Houstonlaparoscopic surgery

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Surgical Instructions for Laparoscopic Colon Resection

We realize that meeting under this set of circumstances isn't exactly ideal, but we're here to help you get through this surgical event as smoothly and uneventfully as possible. Here is some information we hope you find useful and help to answer some of the many questions you may have.

Prior to the date of your surgery, you will be required to obtain some lab work, a chest x-ray, and an EKG. Additional testing such as a CT scan and an CEA may be requested; as well as a visit to your hear and lung doctor for the surgical clearance should you have a prior history. If time allows, this may be done up to 2 weeks prior but no later than 3 days before the surgery. This allows us time to recheck or correct any abnormals without canceling the surgery.

You will need to discontinue any blood thinner; i.e., Aspirin, Persantine, or Coumadin 5 days prior to the surgery.

You will need to complete the 2-day colon prep for this procedure (see Two Day Colon Prep Sheet). The completion of the colon prep can directly be related to the success of your surgery. Please adhere to these instructions. You may take any prescribed medications the morning of your procedure with only a sip of water. Otherwise, it is NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT! In doing so can mean your surgery will either be cancelled or delayed several hours.

The day of surgery, you will be asked to report 2-3 hours before the scheduled procedure. This allows for:

  • Adequate check in time
  • Any unexplained delays
  • Any last minute testing that may be required

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; if you have a problem with this, please alert the office. Have family members wait in the surgical waiting room, as we will send messages out periodically during the procedure and Dr. Leggett will speak with them upon completion.

It is recommended that you wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat shoes the day of your surgery; i.e., sweat suit and tennis shoes. This will help accommodate any bloating or swelling that may occur during the procedure.

You will be in the hospital for approximately 2-4 days post surgery providing there are no complications. There will be paper tapes over your incisions. Leave them on until the edges roll up on their own, then remove. This will vary from 3-7 days. Should blistering occur, just keep clean with soap and water (this is not uncommon). Continue with any routine daily hygiene practices, this includes a shower or a bath. It does not hurt to get your incisions wet.

You may experience abdominal bruising and "hard knots" around the incision sites. This is quite normal and expected. To help alleviate this, first apply a towel then a heating pad to the affected area.

You will be given a prescription for pain pills; have it filled and take as directed. Don't try to be a hero, take the medication as needed. Extra-Strength Tylenol may be taken for any mild discomfort. Remember that a certain amount of discomfort is to be expected.

Your diet will be unrestricted after the surgery. It is usual to experience a decrease in appetite so try to eat several small frequent meals. This is not the time to worry about calories - EAT! You need the calories to heal!

Physical activities are essential and unrestricted after surgery, actually walking is encouraged. It is best to get a little exercise each day. Get up, get dressed and ladies put on your make-up. You will feel better! You may drive a car whenever you feel like you can turn around comfortably, step on the gas and brake and not get in an accident. Sexual activities may be resumed when you like.

You will need to call the office and schedule an appointment approximately one week after discharge from the hospital, call 2-3 days before you want to come in. Returning to work will be discussed at that time.

Should your surgery have been done because of diverticular disease, you will need to avoid nuts, seeds and popcorn and continue taking Metamucil.

Should your surgery have been done because of cancer, you will need to see an oncologist. We will walk you thru this step by step, so do not be alarmed. In addition to the oncologist, Dr. Leggett will want to see you:

  • One week after surgery
  • One month after surgeryy for the second year
  • Every year after the surgery for the third year

Either Dr. Leggett or your referring gastro-intestinal doctor will need to do a colonoscopy every year, as well.

If you should experience any of the following, please notify the office at 281-580-6767:

  • Temperature greater than 101
  • Sever abdominal pain not relieved by the pain medication
  • Uncontrollable nausea and vomiting
  • Severe abdominal bloating not relieved by a bowel movement

Should you have any questions, please call the office and we will be glad to answer any additional questions. It is NORMAL to be scared.