How Long Is Recovery After Gallbladder Surgery


What To Expect After A Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

How long is the recovery after gallbladder surgery?

HomeHealthWhat To Expect After A Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery?

A person can lead a normal healthy life without a gallbladder. The surgical procedure of gallbladder removal is called cholecystectomy. A gallbladder needs to be removed when there is the presence of gallstones or have gallbladder cancer. The gallstones can cause pain and inflammation, jaundice, and pancreatitis. There are two main ways of performing the surgery traditional open method and minimally invasive surgery. The recovery time depends a lot upon the type of surgery that is being performed. Although, the laparoscopic gallbladder surgery takes faster recovery time. With the laparoscopic surgery, generally is patient is discharged within 24 hours of the operation and can return to work within 72 hours of the operation. However, one should be ready to experience the following if the gallbladder needs to be removed

Pain: Generally, there is minimal pain associated with this surgery. However, some pain in the shoulder can be experienced due to gas that can disappear on its own. Surgeons do suggest some pain medications if required, case by case basis.

Wound Care: The four small wounds on the abdomen need to be kept clean. A person can take the shower as soon as the bandages are removed.

Constipation: Constipation is common during a surgery due to anesthesia, pain medications, and decreased activity. The doctor may suggest stool softeners and suggest to take more fluids and fiber.

How To Prepare For Open Gallbladder Removal

Prior to surgery, youll undergo several tests to ensure youre healthy enough for the procedure. These will include blood tests and imaging tests of your gallbladder.

You may need to have additional imaging studies, such as a chest X-ray or an EKG, depending on your medical history. A complete physical exam and record of your medical history will also be needed.

During these appointments, tell your doctor if youre taking any medications, including over-the-counter drugs or nutritional supplements. Certain medications can interfere with the procedure. You may have to stop taking them prior to surgery. Also, tell your doctor if youre pregnant or may be pregnant.

Your doctor will give you complete instructions on the best way for you to prepare for surgery.

These instructions may include:

Signs That Internal Healing After Gallbladder Is Taking Longer Than Normal

Patients know best how they feel. They should monitor themselves for the following problems during their gallbladder surgery recovery:

  • Fever longer than 24 hours
  • Weeping or oozing surgical incisions
  • Increase in fatigue or pain
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Dark-colored or foul-smelling urine

Contact the surgeon immediately if any of the above complications occur or head to the nearest emergency room if the surgeon is unavailable.

If you have questions or concerns about gallbladder surgery or recovery, feel free to contact Orange County Robotic General Surgery!

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How Do I Get Ready For A Cholecystectomy

  • Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you. Ask him or her any questions you have.

  • You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission for the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear.

  • Your provider will ask questions about your past health. He or she may also give you a physical exam. This is to make sure you are in good health before the procedure. You may also need blood tests and other diagnostic tests.

  • You must not eat or drink for 8 hours before the procedure. This often means no food or drink after midnight.

  • Tell your provider if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

  • Tell your provider if you are sensitive to or allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, and anesthesia medicines .

  • Tell your provider about all the medicines you take. This includes both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. It also includes vitamins, herbs, and other supplements.

  • Tell your provider if you have a history of bleeding disorders. Let your provider know if you are taking any blood-thinning medicines, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. You may need to stop taking these medicines before the procedure.

  • If this is an outpatient procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home afterward. You wonât be able to drive because of the medicine given to relax you before and during the procedure.

  • Follow any other instructions your provider gives you to get ready.

Going Home After Gallbladder Surgery

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We give you specific instructions to care for yourself after gallbladder surgery. Youll need to have someone drive you home from the office, and its a good idea to have someone stay overnight with you for the first few days after surgery.

Be prepared to experience mild to moderate abdominal pain in the days following your gallbladder surgery. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be sufficient, but our team can prescribe other pain relievers if needed.

You can generally shower in as little as one day after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. Any surgical tape or glue used to secure your incisions should disappear as your body continues healing.

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Tips For Recovering From Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

If you have been recommended for gallbladder surgery, you are probably wondering about the recovery process. After all, even though it is performed using a minimally-invasive technique, it is still a medical surgery. Fortunately, for most patients the recovery from this type of surgery is fairly simple.One of the biggest benefits of laparoscopic surgery is that the recovery time is much quicker and usually more straightforward than conventional, invasive surgeries. You should be able to leave hospital on the same day as your procedure, although you will need someone to drive you home, and they should ideally stay with you for at least 24 hours as you may feel some side effects from the general anesthetic.Common side effects that you can expect to experience after your laparoscopic gallbladder surgery include:

  • Swelling and bruising around the incision points, which should start to subside within a few days.
  • Some discomfort, which can usually be alleviated using over the counter pain medication.
  • Nausea, which abates as the anesthetic completely clears your body.
  • Bloating, gas and diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by pain in your abdomen and shoulders. The latter should pass in a few days and is a result of the gas used to inflate your belly during the procedure while the former can take several weeks to regulate.

In total, it usually takes between one and three weeks to recover from laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, but this can vary from patient to patient.

Tips For Aiding Recovery

There are tips you can follow to help the recovery process after gallbladder surgery, including:

  • Treating pain: Put a cold pack on your abdomen every couple of hours for 1020 minutes. Never put ice directly on your body.
  • Resting: Get plenty of rest but try to walk a little each day to prevent blood clots or lung problems.
  • Self-maintenance: You can take a warm shower, as long as it is not too hot. Be sure to carefully pat the incision dry.
  • Eating: Eat small amounts of food throughout the day rather than large meals as your appetite returns.
  • Bowel movements: You may have loose stool, diarrhea, or constipation in the early stages of recovery. Ask your doctor about how to address any problems with bowel movements, such as taking fiber.
  • Avoid lifting: For about 24 weeks, or as your doctor advises, avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. Typically, you should not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for up to 6 weeks.
  • Exercise: Avoid riding a bike, jogging, lifting weights, or doing physically demanding exercise until your doctor says it is okay.
  • Sexual activity: Ask your doctor when it is okay to resume sexual activity.

It is important to increase activity levels safely after surgery. You can do small household tasks, such as dusting or preparing a simple meal. As you slowly increase your exercise, try walking up and down stairs or taking a stroll.

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When Is Gallbladder Removal Surgery Necessary

If your gallstones do not cause any symptoms, then thereâs no need to treat them. However, if you do experience symptoms, you may need to have your gallbladder removed. Some of the symptoms you may experience when you have gallstones include:

  • Sudden pain in the upper right side of your abdomen or in the center of your abdomen, directly below your breastbone that rapidly intensifies
  • Back pain located directly between your shoulder blades
  • Pain in your right shoulder

Doctors donât typically rush to remove your gallbladder. Theyâll wait to see if you have more than one attack. However, surgery is the best way to prevent future attacks. If you do need surgery and youâre located near San Francisco, California, BASS Medical Group can help. Their elite team is made up of doctors who are experts in their respective fields. Call 350-4044 to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Recovery After Gallbladder Removal Tip : Plan Ahead For Help

How long is the recovery process after gallbladder surgery? – Frankfort Regional Medical Center

Ask a friend or family member to help out with errands and household chores after you get home from your surgery. Youll have physical restrictions that will limit your ability to take care of yourself. Normal activities, such as shopping, cleaning, and cooking can be difficult when youre recovering from your gallbladder removal. Your doctor will probably want you to avoid certain activities after surgery, such as driving and heavy lifting. Having someone around to help you after gallbladder removal surgery can make a huge difference in the speed and comfort of your recovery.

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Types Of Gallbladder Surgery

Doctors can remove your gallbladder in one of two ways:

Open surgery: During this procedure, your surgeon will make a 5- to 7-inch incision on your belly to take out your gallbladder. Youâll need open surgery if you have a bleeding disorder. You may also need it if you have severe gallbladder disease, are very overweight, or are in your last trimester of pregnancy.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: Doctors also call this âkeyhole surgery.â Your surgeon doesnât make a big opening in your belly. Instead, they make four small cuts. They insert a very thin, flexible tube that contains a light and a tiny video camera into your belly. These help your surgeon see your gallbladder better. Next, theyâll insert special tools to remove the diseased organ.

For both types of surgery, youâll be given general anesthesia. This means youâll sleep through the procedure and wonât feel any pain while itâs being done.

What Is Gallbladder Surgery

A cholecystectomy is the medical name for having your gallbladder removed. It involves removing the gallbladder and usually occurs due to gallstones. These stones can result from bile stasis or bile production. Galllstones often cause no symptoms.

Other reasons for gallbladder surgery include gallbladder inflammation or gallbladder polyps.

Gallstones block the flow of bile, thus irritating the gallbladder. This condition is called acute cholecystitis. When irritation occurs in the pancreas, it is called acute pancreatitis. Both of these conditions include symptoms, such as:

  • changing your bandage when it becomes wet
  • changing the bandage at least once per day
  • removing the surgical clue or strips when they loosen

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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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How Much Work Will I Miss After Gallbladder Surgery?

You could be stuck in traffic. For laparoscopic surgery, most people can return to work or their normal routine within 1-2 weeks, but it may take longer. For open surgery, it will likely take 4-6 weeks before you return to your normal routine.

Do they insert a catheter during gallbladder surgery?

During this minimally invasive procedure, your doctor will insert a needle through your abdomen into the gallbladder. A small tube called a catheter will be inserted through the needle to drain the gallbladder of bile and decompress it.

How to prepare for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy at home?

You can prepare for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy by: Answering all questions about your medical history and medications. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal treatments, and vitamins. Its a good idea to have an up-to-date list of your health conditions, medications, and allergies with you at all times.

How to prepare for laparoscopic gallbladder removal?

What type of surgery is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

When to eat and drink after cholecystectomy surgery?

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How Do You Recover From This Surgery

How long itâll take you to recover from a cholecystectomy will depend on whether you had a laparoscopic or open procedure. If youâve had a laparoscopic procedure, you should be able to leave the hospital on the same day as you had your operation. Gallbladder removal recovery will then be somewhat of a speedy process. You should return to your normal activities within two weeks after the operation.

If you have open surgery, you should plan to stay in the hospital for three to five days. You should also realize that your recovery time will take longer. It may take anywhere from 6 and 8 weeks before youâll be able to return to your normal activities.

Regardless of the type of surgery you have, you wonât be able to drive afterward, so you should arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital. Itâs a good idea to also have this person stay with you for 24 hours if you go home the same day as you had your surgery because you may still be feeling the effects of anesthesia.

What To Expect After Surgery

What Should I Expect after Gallbladder Removal Surgery ?

Going home

You can probably go home the day you have your surgery, or you might stay in the hospital overnight. You need to be able to drink liquids before you go home.

Will I be in pain?

You will feel some pain after surgery. Pain at the incision sites and in your abdomen is common. You might also have pain in your shoulders. This is from the air put into your abdomen during the operation. The shoulder pain should go away in 24 to 48 hours.

You can take non-prescription medications to relieve pain, unless your doctor tells you not to. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are examples of non-prescription pain medications. Putting ice on your incisions can also help. Ask your doctor or nurse about the correct way to use ice.

Your surgeon might prescribe a small amount of narcotic pain medicine to help you with pain. Many people recover from surgery without taking any narcotic pain medicine, but some will need narcotics for a few days. If you have questions about pain after surgery, ask the surgeon or your nurses. They should be able to tell you how long the pain will last and what to expect.

You might feel sick to your stomach or throw up after your surgery. Having surgery and anesthesia can make this happen. You should feel better in a day or two. Tell your doctor or nurse if you keep vomiting or feeling nauseated.


You can probably go back to normal activity about a week after laparoscopic gallbladder removal.

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Days Before Your Surgery

Follow your healthcare providers instructions for taking aspirin

If you take aspirin or a medication that contains aspirin, you may need to change your dose or stop taking it 7 days before your surgery. Aspirin can cause bleeding.

Follow your healthcare providers instructions. Do not stop taking aspirin unless they tell you to.

For more information, read Common Medications Containing Aspirin, Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs , or Vitamin E.

Stop taking vitamin E, multivitamins, herbal remedies, and other dietary supplements

Stop taking vitamin E, multivitamins, herbal remedies, and other dietary supplements 7 days before your surgery. These things can cause bleeding.

If your healthcare provider gives you other instructions, follow those instead.

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Recovering After Your Surgery

How long does it take to recover from gallbladder removal 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.

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