sounds to me like your friends and family are confusing conventional abdominal surgery with outpatient laproscopic (sp?) surgery. Your doctor is probably telling you the truth. He is telling you about the downtime and information regarding the laproscopic procedure and your loved ones are thinking you are having full blown abdominal surgery.
The after effects they are worried about are from the healing time and recovery from having your abdomen opened up and closed back up, which is probably how they used to do this type of surgery. But if he is doing it laproscopically, there is no need to open you up, there are only a couple of small incisions and you will recover much more quickly from those small incisions and the procedure than you would from the older surgery method.
I wouldn't worry, they are misunderstanding.
Although I will warn you. Sometimes there are complications that require them to go in abdominally. if that happens, you will be down and out like your family says, but its unlikely, as they've gotten so much better with these procedures over the years.