How Long Does It Take To Heal From Gallbladder Surgery


Commonly Asked Questions: After You Go Home

How long does it take to recover from gallbladder removal surgery?

What is the Recovery Tracker?

We want to know how youre feeling after you leave the hospital. To help us continue caring for you, well send questions to your MyMSK account every day for 10 days after you leave the hospital. These questions are known as your Recovery Tracker.

Fill out your Recovery Tracker every day before midnight . It only takes 2 to 3 minutes. Your answers to these questions will help us understand how youre feeling and what you need.

Based on your answers, we may reach out to you for more information or ask you to call your surgeons office. You can always contact your surgeons office if you have any questions. For more information, read About Your Recovery Tracker.

Will I have pain when I am home?

The length of time each person has pain or discomfort varies. You may still have some pain when you go home and will probably be taking pain medication. Follow the guidelines below.

Can I shower?

Yes. Taking a warm shower is relaxing and can help decrease muscle aches. Use soap when you shower and gently wash your incision. Pat the areas dry with a towel after showering, and leave your incision uncovered . Call your doctor if you see any redness or drainage from your incision.

Dont take tub baths until you discuss it with your doctor at the first appointment after your surgery.

Is it normal not to feel hungry after surgery?

How can I prevent constipation?

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Stones In The Bile Ducts

What happens?

An x-ray may be performed during surgery which shows up the bile ducts . Some stones may have moved from the gallbladder into the bile tubes. These can usually be removed at the time of surgery.

What can be done about it?

An endoscopic procedure may be needed to remove the stones at a later date, if they cannot be removed during the operation. This is referred to as an ERCP.

Aftercare And When To Contact A Doctor

A persons recovery time depends on the type of surgery they had and any complications that arose.

After laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a person can often go home the same day or the next day. They can expect to return to normal activities within 1 week.

After open cholecystectomy, a person may need to stay in the hospital for . During this time, doctors will provide follow-up care. A person can often return to normal activities within 1 month.

According to the NIDDK , complications from gallbladder surgery include a persons bile ducts developing an infection. This may require additional surgeries.

For optimal healing, the person will need to keep the incisions clean and dry, change the bandages regularly, and follow all advice from their doctor. Taking over-the-counter pain medications can help people manage any pain.

A doctor may also recommend some short-term dietary changes, such as eating small, light meals for several days following surgery and following a low fat diet for a few weeks.

The SAGES recommend that a person be as active following the procedure as they can be. They suggest walking or doing other light exercises to help keep the body moving.

The surgeon will likely schedule a follow-up appointment for about 23 weeks after the procedure, according to the SAGES.

People may way to contact their doctor as soon as possible if they experience any of the following symptoms:

People may need to make some long-term dietary changes after gallbladder removal.

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How Long Is The Recovery From Gallbladder Surgery

Recovery varies depending on whether laparoscopic or open surgery is performed.

With laparoscopic surgery, patients are usually able to leave the hospital the same day as the procedure. In some cases, there will be an overnight stay required. Patients are advised to rest and avoid sports, heavy lifting, and swimming for at least one week, and patients can usually resume their normal routine in about 2 weeks.

With open surgery, patients typically stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. Once home, patients are advised to avoid sports, heavy lifting, and swimming for a few weeks. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for a full recovery.

Can You Have A Baby With No Gallbladder

Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Time

Your child can live a full life without a gallbladder. The surgery to remove the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy . Your childs surgeon will talk with you about the method that will be used.

What foods should you avoid when you have your gallbladder removed?

People who have had gallbladder removal surgery should avoid certain foods, including:

  • fatty, greasy, or fried foods.
  • caffeine, which is often in tea, coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks.
  • alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine, and spirits.
  • carbonated beverages.

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What Are The Advantages Of Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

  • Smaller incision Several small incisions, each less than one inch long, instead of a 5- to 7-inch incision for open surgery.
  • Less pain than after open surgery.
  • Quicker recovery than open surgery You might go home the same day you have your surgery. You can also go back to regular activities more quickly.

Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Time

If you are interested to learn more about gallbladder surgery recovery time, read our article. The gallbladder is an important organ, located near the liver. Precisely, it is located beneath the liver and it resembles a small sack. Its major role is to store bile and controls the release of bile.

The bile is released into the intestine, and this process is controlled by the gallbladder. Bile is necessary for normal digestion. Gallbladder disorders can cause other problems, and it is important to know the symptoms.

If diagnosed early, gallbladder disorders can be treated successfully. Women seem to be more prone to gallbladder disorders than men are. However, gallbladder disorders can affect men, too.

Gallbladder symptoms include abdominal discomfort, belching, bloating, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. The pain is located in the upper abdomen, on the right side and it can spread onto your right shoulder. A gallbladder attack is characterized by this type of pain and it can last from fifteen minutes to several hours. It usually starts after meal.

Gallbladder problems are usually caused by gallstones, but these problems can also result from gallbladder tumors and other factors. Gallbladder disorders can be treated in different ways, depending on the severity. However, gallbladder surgery is sometimes the only option.

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What Can I Expect After The Procedure

You will be monitored in recovery for some time and will normally be able to go home within 24 hours. You may have some side effects from the general anaesthetic such as a headache, nausea or vomiting, which can be controlled with medicine.

You will have some pain in your abdomen after the operation, which can be controlled using pain relief. You may also have some pain in your shoulder from the gas used in the operation, which can be eased with walking.

You will have a drip in your arm at first, which will be removed after the anaesthetic wears off. You can take sips of water at first then slowly get back to eating and drinking normally.

Your wounds will have clips or stitches and you may also have a drain in your side to allow fluid to leave your body. This is usually removed the next day. Make sure you keep your wounds clean.

You will be tired at first. Do not drive for the first 7 days, smoke or lift heavy weights. You can expect to recover fully and return to your normal activities within 2 weeks.

Contact your doctor immediately if you have:

  • a lot of discharge from the wounds
  • pain that cant be controlled by pain relief medicine
  • swelling, tenderness or redness in the abdomen
  • yellow eyes or skin

Risks Of Keyhole Gallbladder Removal Surgery

How long does it take to fully recover from Laparoscopic Gallbladder surgery?

There are risks with any surgery. Your doctor talks about the risks with you before the procedure.

Possible risks of keyhole surgery to remove your gallbladder include:

  • needing open surgery . This might mean you have to stay longer in hospital
  • injury to a bile duct or leakage from the bile ducts. You might then need more surgery
  • injury to your digestive organs
  • numb patches in the skin around your wound. They usually last 2 to 3 months
  • deep vein thrombosis , which is a blood clot in the large veins of your legs. We ask you to wear elastic stockings before and after surgery to prevent this
  • complications or side effects from the general anaesthetic, such as a chest infection

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Find A General Surgeon In Greater Nashville

Dr. Suhail Allos

356 24th Ave. North | Suite 400 | Nashville, TN 37203TEL 615.329.7887 FAX 615.340.4537

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4322 Harding Pike | Suite 326 | Nashville, TN 37205TEL 615.620.7800 FAX 615.620.7805

397 Wallace Rd. | Suite 301 | Nashville, TN 37211TEL 615.425.0550 FAX 615.833.8287

4535 Harding Pike | Suite 304 | Nashville, TN 37205TEL 615.269.9007 FAX 615.269.3448

356 24th Ave. North | Suite 300 | Nashville, TN 37203TEL 615.301.5264 FAX 615.340.4537

85 White Bridge Rd | 2nd Floor | Nashville, TN 37205TEL 615.938.7545 FAX 615.938.7546

What Happens During A Cholecystectomy

You may have a cholecystectomy as an outpatient or as part of your stay in a hospital. The way the surgery is done may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider’s practices.

A cholecystectomy is generally done while you are given medicines to put you into a deep sleep .

Generally, a cholecystectomy follows this process:

  • You will be asked to take off any jewelry or other objects that might interfere during surgery.

  • You will be asked to remove clothing and be given a gown to wear.

  • An intravenous line will be put in your arm or hand.

  • You will be placed on your back on the operating table. The anesthesia will be started.

  • A tube will be put down your throat to help you breathe. The anesthesiologist will check your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood oxygen level during the surgery.

  • If there is a lot of hair at the surgical site, it may be clipped off.

  • The skin over the surgical site will be cleaned with a sterile solution.

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    Recovering After Your Surgery

    This section will help you know what to expect after your surgery. Youll learn how to safely recover from your surgery both in the hospital and at home.

    As you read through this section, write down questions to ask your healthcare provider.

    What to expect

    When you wake up after your surgery, youll be in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit .

    Youll receive oxygen through a thin tube that rests below your nose called a nasal cannula. A nurse will be monitoring your body temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.

    You may have a urinary catheter in your bladder to monitor the amount of urine you are making. Youll also have compression boots on your lower legs to help your circulation.

    You may have a pain pump called a patient-controlled analgesia device. For more information, read Patient-Controlled Analgesia . Your pain medication will be given through an IV line.

    After your stay in the PACU, youll be taken to your hospital room. Soon after you arrive in your room, you will be helped out of bed and into a chair.

    Your nurse will tell you how to recover from your surgery. Below are examples of ways you can help yourself recover safely.

    Top Tips For Recovering From Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

    How Long Does it Take to Recover From Gall Bladder Surgery?

    Be prepared! Your recovery will be much more straightforward if you ensure that your home is clean and free from urgent jobs, and you are stocked up on everything that you might need while you heal, such as pain medications and pre-prepared meals.

    Plan support for your recovery. It is very difficult to know exactly how you will feel during your recovery process before the event. By having friends or family on standby to support you, you can be certain that you dont push yourself too much too soon, which could potentially make your recovery longer.

    Avoid wearing clothing that pushes on your belly. Comfortable clothing is a must when you are recovering. Choose garments that stretch and have soft material.

    Little movements go a long way. Moving around may feel like the last thing that you want to do if you are sore and tired, but actually getting up and moving around every few hours will expedite the healing process and help reduce the build-up of gas in your belly. Even if it is only to make a cup of coffee, getting up and around really does help.

    Take time off of work. You really dont want to be returning to work too soon, as rushing back before you are properly healed can cause complications or make your recovery longer. Your surgeon will tell you how long you should take off from work. If you are self-employed or do not have paid sick leave, make sure your finances are covered while you heal.

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    Recovery From Open Surgery

    Recovery from open surgery takes longer. A person can expect to stay in the hospital for 35 days after their operation. Hospitals require someone to pick up the individual to drive them home or take a taxi with them.

    It can take 68 weeks to make a complete recovery from open surgery and return to normal activities.

    Although gallbladder surgery is relatively common and safe, there are some possible side effects and complications.

    Some potential issues may include:

    • reactions to the anesthesia

    if any gallstones remain in the bile duct. It may also occur if bile leaks into the stomach. The symptoms of PCS are similar to those of gallstones and include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and heartburn.

    Anyone who notices any of the below symptoms after gallstone removal surgery should visit a doctor.

    • pain that worsens or does not get better over time
    • new abdominal pain
    • an inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement
    • ongoing diarrhea
    • yellowing of the skin, called jaundice

    If a surgeon cannot remove the stones readily with maneuvers during the surgery, a person may need a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography . A gastroenterologist passes a camera down from the persons mouth up to the first part of their small intestine where the bile duct inserts. They then access the duct from there to try and remove the stones.

    Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid

    This list provides examples and is not a full review of all recommended/discouraged foods after gallbladder surgery. Take guidance from your healthcare provider as to what you can eat and when you can eat it.

    Diet in the Weeks After Gallbladder Sugery
    Foods to Eat

    As you shapeand re-shapeyour eating plans:

    • Make smaller meals that you eat more often.
    • Drink plenty of fluids, unless your healthcare provider advises otherwise.
    • Keep eating bland foods if you have an upset stomach.
    • As you start to re-introduce fats, select foods with no more than 3 grams of fat per serving. Choose foods that contain healthy, unsaturated fat vs. saturated fat.

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    When To Call The Doctor

    • Your temperature is above 101°F .
    • Your surgical wounds are bleeding, red or warm to the touch or you have a thick, yellow or green drainage.
    • You have pain that is not helped with your pain medicines.
    • It is hard to breathe.
    • You have a cough that does not go away.
    • You cannot drink or eat.
    • Your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow.
    • Your stools are a gray color.

    What Are The Risks Of A Cholecystectomy

    How Long Does It Take to Recover from Gallbladder Surgery

    Some possible complications of a cholecystectomy may include:

    • Injury to the tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine

    • Scars and a numb feeling at the incision site

    • A bulging of organ or tissue at the incision site

    During a laparoscopic procedure, surgical tools are put into your belly. This may hurt your intestines or blood vessels.

    You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.

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    Is It Okay For Someone To Have No Gallbladder

    One can live without a gallbladder. The liver will still function as usual. The only difference is that the bile will pass through the intestines with the food. It will no longer get stored since the gallbladder is gone.

    During the preparation and recovery, the patient will carefully consume specific diets. High fibre foods and fruits assist the digestive system in adjusting without the gallbladder. These may also relieve the patients diarrhea.

    But after these periods, gallbladder surgery patients can eat like before. However, they should keep a proper diet.

    The patient should be mindful of possible complications. If he becomes careless with his lifestyle, he might suffer the consequences. These include hemorrhaging, chemical imbalance, infections, and liver damage.

    It is a must to consult the surgeon about gallbladder surgery.

    Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery For Gallstones

    Laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery removes the gallbladder and gallstones through several small incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon inflates your abdomen with air or carbon dioxide in order to see clearly.

    The surgeon inserts a lighted scope attached to a video camera into one incision near the belly button. The surgeon then uses a video monitor as a guide while inserting surgical instruments into the other incisions to remove your gallbladder.

    Before the surgeon removes the gallbladder, you may have a special X-ray procedure called intraoperative cholangiography, which shows the anatomy of the bile ducts.

    You will need general anesthesia for this surgery, which usually lasts 2 hours or less.

    After surgery, bile flows from the liver through the common bile duct and into the small intestine. Because the gallbladder has been removed, the body can no longer store bile between meals. In most people, this has little or no effect on digestion.

    In about 2 out of 10 laparoscopic gallbladder surgeries in the United States, the surgeon needs to switch to an open surgical method that requires a larger incision. Examples of problems that can require open rather than laparoscopic surgery include unexpected inflammation, scar tissue, injury, or bleeding.

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