You had a procedure called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Your doctor made 1 to 3 small cuts in your belly and used a special instrument called a laparoscope to take out your gallbladder.
Recovering from laparoscopic cholecystectomy will take about 1 to 3 weeks for most people. You may have some of these symptoms as you recover:
Start walking after surgery. Begin your everyday activities as soon as you feel up to it. Move around the house and shower, and use the stairs during your first week home. If it hurts when you do something, stop doing that activity.
You may be able to drive after 2 or 3 days if you are not taking strong pain drugs (narcotics). You may lift 15 pounds or less. DO NOT do any heavy lifting or straining for the first 1 to 2 weeks.
You may be able to go back to a desk job within a week. Talk to your doctor if your work is physical.
If sutures, staples, or glue were used to close your skin, you may take off the wound dressings and take a shower the day after surgery.
If tape strips (Steri-strips) were used to close your skin, cover the wounds with plastic wrap before showering for the first week after surgery. DO NOT try to wash the Steri-strips off. Let them fall off on their own.
DO NOT soak in a bathtub or hot tub, or go swimming, until your doctor tells you it is okay.
Eat a normal diet. You may want to avoid greasy or spicy foods for a while.
Go for a follow-up visit with your doctor 1 to 2 weeks after your surgery.
Call your doctor if:
Cholecystectomy - laparoscopic - discharge
Jackson PG, Evans SRT. Biliary System. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 55.
Siddiqui T. Early versus delayed laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Am J Surg. Jan 2008; 195(1): 40-7. PMID: 18070735 Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=18070735.
Updated by: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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