How Long To Recover From Gallbladder Removal


What Are The Possible Complications Of Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal

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

You will probably go back to normal activities within one week. Complications are problems that happen during medical care or after it. Most people who have laparoscopic gallbladder removal have few complications or none at all.

Complications of laparoscopic gallbladder removal do not happen often. They can include bleeding, infection in the surgery area, hernias, blood clots, and heart problems. A hernia is when a small amount of your gut or other tissue bulges through the muscles that cover it.

You should also know that any surgery has the risk of hurting other body parts. This is not likely, but it is possible. Gallbladder surgery could hurt nearby areas such as the common bile duct, large intestine , or small intestine. You might need another surgery if this happens. It is also possible that bile might leak into the abdomen after gallbladder surgery.

Most complications from gallbladder surgery are rare, which means they almost never happen. If you are concerned about any possible complication, ask your surgeon.

What Happens If A Person Has No Gallbladder

Before and after the surgery, the patient must eat a controlled diet. This regimen helps their digestive system prepare and adjust to the changes in bile. As the patient recovers, he might experience diarrhea, so foods with high fibre can help.

But someone can live without a gallbladder as if nothing has changed. The liver can still digest the food with bile, and this chemical will go down with the food instead of being stored.

Like the rest of us, people without a gallbladder should strive to eat healthy diets.

Why Might I Need A Cholecystectomy

A cholecystectomy may be done if your gallbladder:

  • Has lumps of solid material

  • Is red or swollen , or infected

Gallbladder problems may cause pain which:

  • Is usually on the right side or middle of your upper belly

  • May be constant or may get worse after a heavy meal

  • May sometimes feel more like fullness than pain

  • May be felt in your back and in the tip of your right shoulder blade

Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.

The symptoms of gallbladder problems may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a cholecystectomy.

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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.

What Is The Best Diet After Gallbladder Surgery

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There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best diet after gallbladder surgery depends on the individuals specific health and fitness goals. However, some general tips to follow after Gallbladder Surgery include eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding high-calorie foods and drinks.

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How Do Surgeons Perform Gallbladder Surgery

Depending on the patients preference and health, the surgeon may conduct two types of surgery:

In a keyhole gallbladder surgery, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the patients abdomen. These cuts are about three centimetres in diameter.

Then, the surgeon will also pump carbon dioxide inside. Making the abdomen wider can make it more accessible for the surgeon. He will insert the laparoscope, a tube with a camera and a flashlight.

Afterwards, the surgeon will insert the surgical instruments to take the gallbladder out. Finally, he will release the gas and close the wound.

During an open gallbladder surgery, the surgeon makes a wider cut. The wound is between ten to twenty centimetres in diameter. From this incision, the surgeon will remove the gallbladder.

An open gallbladder surgery might be necessary if the patient has scar tissue from past operations. The surgeon might also decide to do this if he cannot properly access the gallbladder.

But this operation will leave a worse scar. Hospital stay and recovery time is also much longer.

The patient will receive general anesthesia before these operations.

What Happens During Gallbladder Surgery

Our surgical team uses the Single-Site® method with the da Vinci® surgical system, a technique that requires only one incision near your belly button.

We use high-definition 3D imaging and a magnified view of your gallbladder through a tiny camera inserted through the incision to precisely perform the surgery.

Youll be under general anesthesia and the procedure takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

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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.

Tips For Recovering From Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

How long does it take to fully recover 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.

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Allow Time For Healing

While everyones recovery is different, it can take your body 1-3 weeks to recover from gallbladder surgery. During your recovery, you may experience:

  • Sore throat from the breathing tube
  • Bruising at the incision site
  • Nausea and vomiting

You may also experience pain in your upper back and shoulders from the gas we used to inflate your belly to improve visibility during your surgery. This pain may linger for up to a week.

Its also not uncommon to experience loose stools after eating when youve had your gallbladder removed. This side effect can last 4-8 weeks and sometimes longer.

What Symptoms May Occur During The Recovery Process

Recovering from gallbladder surgery takes anywhere from a couple of weeks to 4-6 weeks, depending on factors such as the type of surgery , your overall wellness, and other issues.

You may experience:

Temporary Pain

It is common to experience pain in the region where surgery is performed, which in the case of gallbladder removal means the incision site and the surrounding abdomen. You may also experience back pain and even pain in your shoulder area, which results from the air pumped into your abdomen during the surgery.

This pain should fade over the course of a few days after your surgery. And it is usually treatable with over-the-counter products such as Acetaminophen and ibuprofen, as well as ice packs.


Because gallbladder removal surgery involves pumping air into your abdomen as part of the procedure, you will experience temporary bloating or swelling that will decrease within a few days of the surgery. It may be uncomfortable, but it should improve quickly as the air has a chance to dissipate.


Due to the stress of surgery, you may experience a slight fever that goes away within a few days. If you have a low-grade fever, you may use over-the-counter medication to address it, as well as drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of rest.

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When Should You Call For Help

anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out .
  • You are short of breath.

or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are sick to your stomach and cannot drink fluids.
  • You have pain that does not get better when you take your pain medicine.
  • You cannot pass stools or gas.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
  • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
  • Red streaks leading from the incision.
  • Pus draining from the incision.
  • Bright red blood has soaked through the bandage over your incision.
  • You have loose stitches, or your incision comes open.
  • You have signs of a blood clot in your leg , such as:
  • Pain in your calf, back of knee, thigh, or groin.
  • Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.
  • Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

    What Is Robotic Cholecystectomy

    How to Recover From Gallbladder Removal Surgery (With images ...

    Your surgeon might use a surgical robot to do your operation. It is done the same way as the description above. Your doctor guides the robot instead of guiding the instruments by hand. This is commonly referred to as robotic surgery.

    You might have a specialized X-ray of your gallbladder and bile duct during surgery. This X-ray can find gallstones in the common bile duct. If you have them, the surgeon might need to do additional procedures during the surgery. Or you might need another procedure to remove them later.

    It is very important to know about your doctors training and experience before your surgery. Ask about their experience doing laparoscopic gallbladder removal and open gallbladder surgery.

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    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.

    What Causes Gallbladder Problems

    Gallstones are often the cause. These small, hard deposits form in the gallbladder. They can also get into the bile duct, which connects the gallbladder with your intestines.

    You are more likely to get gallstones if you:

    • Are overweight, or

    You might also get gallstones if other people in your family had them. Doctors do not have a consistent way of preventing gallstones.

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    When Should A Gallbladder Surgery Patient Call The Doctor

    If the pain and side effects are severe and worsening, the patient must contact his physician or surgeon. These are the signs of gallbladder surgery complications:

    • The symptoms before the surgery start to come back.
    • The pain is severe and unbearable.
    • The body temperature is higher than 38°C.
    • The patient keeps on vomiting.
    • There is discharge from the wound.
    • The skin and eyes become yellow.
    • The urine has darker colours, and the stool is pale.

    Is Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal For You

    Recovery after Gallbladder Surgery (Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy)

    Laparoscopic gallbladder removal might be the right choice for you because it is the most common type of gallbladder surgery. It might not be an option if:

    • You have severe gallbladder problems, or
    • You had earlier surgery in your upper abdomen.

    Ask your family doctor or other health care provider if this surgery is right for you. You should also talk with a surgeon who is trained and qualified to do laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. They can help you decide.

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    Unhealthy Fats Vs Healthy Fats

    The bodys absorption of fat is compromised after the gallbladder is removed therefore its important to limit your intake of foods that are high in omega 6 fatty acids and focus on eating more foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

    Omega 6 fatty acid foods to avoid include vegetable oils such as:

    • Lard or shortening

    Vegetable oils high in omega 6 fatty acids are found in processed foods as well, hidden sources of vegetable oils in foods that you should avoid include:

    • Salad dressings

    How Is Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Done

    You will have general anesthesia for your laparoscopic gallbladder removal. This means you are asleep during surgery. When surgery is finished, the surgeon closes your incisions with tiny stitches, staples, surgical tape or glue. These disappear as you heal, so the doctor does not need to remove them later.

    Once you are asleep, the surgeon makes an incision near your belly button and inserts a small device called a port. The port creates an opening that your surgeon can use to fill the abdomen with gas. This creates space to do the operation. Next, they insert a small camera through the port. The camera shows the surgery on a screen in the operating room. Once the surgeon can see clearly, they put in more ports to insert long, narrow instruments. Finally, they gently disconnect your gallbladder and take it out through one of the incisions. Most operations need 3 or 4 incisions, but some have more.

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    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.

    What Happens Before Gallbladder Removal

    Incisions dressed after the surgery

    A few weeks before surgery, you meet with your healthcare provider. At this appointment, you may:

    • Get a blood test to make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery.
    • Discuss what technique your surgeon will use and ask any questions.
    • Receive instructions about when to stop eating and drinking before your operation.
    • Talk about ways you can reduce your risk of postoperative complications, such as quitting smoking.

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