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How Long Is Recovery For Gallbladder Surgery

How Soon Will You Be Back To Normal After Gallbladder Removal

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

The recovery time after gallbladder surgery will vary somewhat depending on your individual circumstances and your bodyâs overall wellness. And âback to normalâ can also differ from person to person. In general, you can expect the following as you heal.


You can begin to shower as soon as you feel up for it after your procedure. Your doctor will provide any instructions regarding how to care for your incision.


It is normal to have a decreased appetite while the anesthesia wears off. If it helps, you can eat several small meals rather than eating a few large ones as you recover.

Daily Activities

As your body recovers, you can begin to resume normal activities, but it is also important to pace yourself. Get plenty of rest, and know that it will be a few weeks before your energy levels return to normal.


Engage in light motion as you are able during the first week of your recovery because gentle movement helps your body recuperate. Short, slow walks can help, as can slow stair-climbing in small doses. When you tire, stop and rest.

However, be careful not to overdo it. Avoid lifting anything heavier than five pounds for at least six weeks. And do not engage in strenuous exercises such as long runs, weight lifting, or boot camp workouts until your doctor clears you to do so.


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:

How Should A Patient Prepare For Gallbladder Surgery

Before the surgery, the patient will undergo health assessments like blood tests and checkups. The result will show if the surgery is suitable and what type of operation is most applicable.

The patient will also have an appointment with a physician or surgeon. Here, the patient may ask and raise concerns. He will learn crucial information about the procedure and precautions, like not smoking and fasting the night before.

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What Should Patients Do To Treat Their Wounds

The patient should listen carefully when the physicians teach him about taking care of the wound. He will learn when he can shower again and how to keep the incision clean.

Most of the time, surgeons utilize stitches that dissolve by themselves. However, if this is not the case, the patient must meet the surgeon again after ten days. He will manually pull the stitches in this appointment.

How Long Is The Recovery From Gallbladder Surgery Topic Guide

Gallbladder Surgery

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You Have Nothing To Worry About

Fear is a common reason to postpone an elective procedure such as gallbladder removal surgery. Understandably, imagining surgery is frightening. Incisions, blood, and stitches may seem painful and unbearable. Not to mention that you probably wonder if the surgery impacts your future.

Fortunately, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgery. Robotic equipment keeps the incisions small, precise, and neat. Once the surgery is complete, you can get back to your activities in a week. Whats more, complications rarely arise from gallbladder surgery. Thousands of patients across the country undergo gall bladder removal and lead healthy lives.

You can live comfortably without your gallbladder, which means you dont have to worry about future digestive issues. Even if youve had abdominal surgery before, you can still undergo a successful laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Managing Pain After Gallbladder Surgery

Once the surgery is completed you will begin your pain management. This is important to help you with the recovery process. If you do not take it easy, the pain can be severe and cause setbacks. There are two easy ways to manage the pain after surgery.

Get Rest

For a few days after the surgery, you will need to get plenty of rest. Letting the bodywork on itself to heal is the best way for it to do so. Stay seated or laying down and do not over-exert yourself.

Eat Light

Some of the pain after gallbladder surgery is caused by the liver having to get used to its new role without the gallbladder. Eating heavy after your surgery will cause some problems with your digestion and then pain in the area. A diet of liquids and nongreasy or fatty foods will help.

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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.

Who Needs To Have Their Gallbladder Removed

How long is the recovery after gallbladder surgery?

People who have gallstones may need gallbladder removal. Gallstones are small, pebble-like deposits that build up in your gallbladder. Gallstones are typically made of bile byproducts called cholesterol or bilirubin. The stones usually form because of an imbalance in the substances that create bile.

Some people dont feel gallstones or know they have them. Sometimes, gallstones block the flow of bile and affect your pancreas or gallbladder . You may have:

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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.

When Can You Think That The Gallbladder Surgery Has Complications

You should contact your physician or surgeon immediately if you experience these:

  • The pain becomes more severe and intolerable despite the painkillers
  • You have a fever
  • The earlier symptoms of the disease reappear
  • You vomit excessively
  • There is an infection, too much bleeding, or pus on the wound
  • Your eyes turn yellow and
  • Your poo is pale.

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Top Tips For Recovering From Laparoscopic Gallbladder 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.

Returning To Activity After Gallbladder Removal

Pin on Gallbladder recovery

How soon can you resume your normal everyday activities after surgery? The answer to this question depends on what your normal routine includes, your overall health, and your bodys reaction to the surgery. Dont expect to resume a strenuous gym routine or go back to a manual labor job immediately after your operation.

Even though laparoscopic surgery provides patients with a shorter healing time, you will still need to take it easy for several days after the procedure. Avoid heavy lifting and physical activity for the first week or two following your surgical discharge.

Its possible, in some cases, to return to work or school during the first few weeks of your recovery periodespecially if you sit at a desk or have a sedentary type of job. Your doctor will advise you on when you can return to other activities, such as exercising or engaging in physically demanding tasks.

Again, this depends on your physical state and how your body reacts to the procedure. The doctor may want you to rest until your post-op follow-up visit. It may take up to six weeks for you to fully recover from the surgery, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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How Does Your Body Adapt After Gallbladder Removal

The role of the gallbladder is important indigestion, but fortunately, your liver can take on that role over time. The liver will continue to produce enough bile to aid in digestion. Yet without the gallbladder, there is no place to store the bile between meals.

This means that your liver will need to produce more bile in real-time, as you eat. Over time, it will become quicker at doing so. And your bile ducts may even enlarge to provide room for bile storage in the absence of the gallbladder.

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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.

How Long Is The Recovery From Gallbladder Surgery

Recovery after Gallbladder Surgery (Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy)

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.

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Do I Need To Change My Diet After Gallbladder Removal

Although your gallbladder is not essential, it helps you digest fatty foods. Immediately after gallbladder removal, youll need to avoid fatty and fried foods.

To avoid discomfort, fat calories after surgery should make up no more than 30% of your diet. In the weeks after surgery, reintroduce high-fiber foods slowly. Whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables may cause severe bloating or gas if you eat too much too quickly.

What Happens Before Gallbladder Removal

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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After Open Gallbladder Removal

Your doctor will discharge you from the hospital once your vital signs have stabilized and you show clinical signs of recovery without complications.

Hospital stays are typically longer after an open procedure. This is because open procedures are more invasive than laparoscopic procedures. Your doctor will want to make sure you arent having excessive bleeding, nausea, or pain. The medical staff will also monitor you for signs of infection, like fever or pus containing drainage at the surgical site.

According to the Mayo Clinic, youll typically spend up to three days in the hospital while you begin to recover. A full recovery from open gallbladder surgery could take about four to six weeks.

Some ways you can prevent complications after surgery include the following:

  • Walk around frequently to prevent blood clots.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Dont lift more than 10 pounds for four to six weeks.
  • Wash your hands before and after touching the area around your incision site.
  • Change your bandages as directed.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing that could rub against the incision.

How To Do Cholecystectomy Recovery Right

Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)

Cholecystectomy, also known as gall bladder removal surgery, is a safe and effective procedure. The operation is performed to treat gallstones and other related complications such as polyps and pancreas inflammation. Cholecystectomy carries a small risk of complications, which can be reduced through the appropriate cholecystectomy recovery practices.

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How Long Can You Put Off Gallbladder Surgery

Many people undergo gallbladder removal surgery in their lifetime. Its a standard procedure that removes your gallbladder when gallstones and infection form in the gallbladder and bile ducts. Due to its common occurrence, its good to understand how long you can postpone a cholecystectomy. If your doctor has confirmed gallstones, how long can you put off gallbladder surgery? Lets discuss.

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.

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