Recovering From Gall Bladder Surgery

Jennifer L By Jennifer L, 28th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Post-Recovery

This is a quick summary of what to expect after gallbladder surgery.

Recovering From Gall Bladder Surgery

The gall bladder is a small organ that stores bile before it is released into the small intestine. It is located just beneath the liver. The most common gall bladder problem is gallstones,which can cause a significant amount of pain and discomfort. The treatment of choice is removal of the gall bladder. In this article, I will discuss recovering from gall bladder surgery not only as a nurse,but also as a patient.
Gall bladder removal is usually performed laparoscopically,which means the operation is minimally invasive. Only a few small incisions are required with this type of procedure, thus making for decreased pain and recovery time for the patient. An open procedure may still need to be performed based on the patient's symptoms. Your surgeon will discuss with you prior to your surgery the risks and benefits of both procedures. In this article, I will focus on recovering from the laparoscopic procedure.
Laparoscopic gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) can usually be performed on an outpatient basis, which will not require an overnight stay. You will be monitored closely in the surgery center recovery area for a few hours before being released home with a responsible caregiver. Once you are home, there a few important things you will need to know to make your recovery as smooth as possible.
1)Pain Control-Your doctor may prescribe a narcotic pain reliever to relieve your pain. Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate power tools or machinery while taking narcotics. Also do not drink alcohol while taking narcotics. Your doctor may also suggest applying ice intermittently to the operative site. I have found the ice to be very helpful with my post-operative pain.
2)Diet-Eat light foods,liquids until you are feeling better. Then you can progress to a normal diet. Avoid fatty,greasy foods.
3)Activity-Slowly increase your activity based on your level of pain. Discuss your expected return to work with your doctor prior to your surgery.
4)Wound care-Keep the operative site clean and dry. Your surgeon will instruct you on when to remove the bandages. Monitor the site for signs of infection,including increased pain, swelling, redness, or foul-smelling drainage. Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection or a fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit,constant nausea or vomiting,or increased weakness.
You will likely have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon a few weeks after your procedure to check on your progress. Once your surgeon has evaluated you, you should be able to return to your normal activities, without living with the discomfort of gallstones.


Cholecystectomy, Gall Bladder, Gallstones

Meet the author

author avatar Jennifer L
I'm a 43 year old mother and stepmother to 6 daughters. I work as an RN in northeast Ohio.

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