As far as recovery time, I had my laparoscopic LSO on December 19, returned to my sedentary job one week later, and had enough energy for recreational shopping two weeks later. I know every person and every surgery is different though. Before my surgery I couldn't even get my doctor to guess at when I'd be back to work. All she would say is that if I needed documentation for my employer, she could give me up to six weeks!
As to how many people go in planning on a laparoscopy and end up with a cut, I don't know. My doctor told me that I might need open surgery if there was too much endo to do the laparoscopy safely. Fortunately I ended up only having laparoscopy.
As for swelly belly, I was back in regular clothes within a couple of weeks. I was out of the sweat pants within a few days, but had to get the "mom jeans" out of storage for a couple weeks because I couldn't handle a waist band cutting across the spot where the ovary came out. I am still not bikini-ready, though
I have some weird "bump and dent" stuff happening in the spot where they took the ovary. I will never curse my little round belly again, if I ever get it back!
I am a graduate student this year, so like you I had to schedule my surgery during a break and pray that my recovery would be as smooth and fast as possible. I feel very lucky that it all worked out for me, and I hope things come together right for you as well.