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Laparoscopic Intussusception: What to Expect


Prior to Surgery

  • Talk to your doctor about your child’s medications/vitamins/herbs. Some may need to be discontinued a week prior to surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that could impact surgery or anesthesia.
  • Do not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Blood samples are taken in case your child needs a blood transfusion.

Day of the Surgery

  • Do not allow your child to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Only give your child medications that the surgeon has recommended with a small sip of water.
  • You will receive a call from the hospital about arrival time.

After Surgery

Your child will remain in the hospital overnight following the procedure.

  • A dressing will cover the surgical site for two days, and it must be kept dry. Only allow your child a sponge bath during the first 48 hours.
  • There will be soreness around the surgical site during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery.
  • Your child will be prescribed antibiotics to take while he or she recovers.
  • Walking is encouraged, based on your child’s energy level.
  • Your child will feel better after the first week, but he or she must take precautions with certain activities.

Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks

Most children will be fully recovered in one month and can resume some normal activities. Your child’s pediatric surgeon can advise as to what sports are allowed.

Question & Answer

Below, find answers to commonly asked questions. Click each item to expand the Q&A for each section.

The Procedure

Q: What does the procedure involve?

Your child will be given a general anesthesia and will remain asleep throughout the surgery. Using a series of small incisions, the pediatric surgeon inserts a tiny laparoscope that clearly visualizes the abdomen. Once the obstruction has been located, the intussusception is reduced by carefully tucking it back into its normal position. In rare cases, the surgeon may not be able to push the bowel back into place. When this occurs, the affected portion of the bowel is removed and the healthy segments are sutured together.


Q: How many incisions are made?

Several tiny incisions are made in the abdomen.

Hospital Stay

Q: How long will my child stay in the hospital?

Children will normally have to stay overnight in the hospital.

Recovery Time

Q: What is the recovery time?

Most children feel better within the first week, but it takes a month to fully recovery. Your child’s pediatric surgeon will advise on what sort of activities to avoid and how to take precautions.