Post-Operative Instructions for Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal

Foris Surgical Group, LLP

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS:

  • You will find yourself feeling weak and tired for 1-2 weeks after going home (and maybe longer). This will eventually resolve.
  • Listen to your body and rest when you feel you need to.
  • You might experience soreness like a sprain in the right shoulder or back. This is due to the gas that is put into your abdomen during the surgery- it will go away in 2-3 days. Apply heat to shoulder and back and take your pain medication as prescribed.
  • Try not to lie flat. Elevate your head on several pillows and place a pillow under your knees to promote comfort and decrease risk of developing shoulder soreness.
  • Your belly will feel bloated for about one week; you may not be able to close your pants. This will pass as the gas in the abdomen is absorbed.
  • In the meantime, you might be more comfortable in loose fitting clothing.
  • The belly button incision site and upper midline incisions are usually the most sore.
  • You will probably develop mild bruising around one or more of your incisions.

DIET:

  • You may return to normal food after you get home from your surgery. You may wish to avoid heavy foods following your surgery and perhaps just take liquids that day.
  • The day after your surgery you may eat anything you wish. You should avoid fatty foods for two weeks following your surgery. You may want to avoid carbonated beverages for several days.

ACTIVITIES:

  • You will feel easily fatigued for at least one week after discharge; this is normal.
  • Rest as much as you need to.
  • You may take short trips in a car as desired.
  • You should not drive until you have stopped taking your pain medications.
  • You are encouraged to take short walks two to three times daily.
  • Do NOT lift anything over 20 lbs.
  • Refrain from sports and exercise during the first week home.
  • You may go up and down stairs as desired.
  • After one week, you may return to all normal activities, as you desire (avoid very heavy, sudden lifting that causes increased discomfort).
  • Depending on the physical activity requirements of your job you will probably be out of work a minimum of one week but this should be discussed with your surgeon.

INCISIONS:

  • Remove the band aids or gauze 2 days after you get home.
  • On the 2nd day after surgery, you may remove your dressings and shower. Please keep the dressings and incision sites dry until then. If you have small brown strips of tape across the incisions, you may gently wash over them and pat the strips of tape dry after the shower. Let these fall off by themselves.

MEDICATIONS:

  • Use your pain pills (narcotics) as prescribed.
  • You should switch to plain Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) as soon as possible to reduce complications or side effects from the narcotics.
  • The pain pills (especially Tylox, Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Oxy IR, etc.) are prone to cause constipation. Increase fluids, fruits, and fiber in your diet to help prevent constipation.
  • If you have not had a bowel movement by the 3rd day after surgery, you may take a gentle laxative such as Milk of Magnesia.

CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF:

  • You develop a fever above 101.5F. Having a slight temperature elevation for first couple days is normal.
  • You have a fever that persists greater than one week.
  • You develop enough drainage from any of the incisions to saturate a piece of gauze after the first dressing change.
  • You develop yellow or green drainage or rings/streaks of redness around the incision site(s).
  • Generally, you will feel stronger and less sore with each passing day. If, after a few days, you begin to feel worse rather than better, you should call the office.
  • If you notice very dark urine or the white part of your eyes (sclera) turns yellow.

FOLLOW UP:

  • Call the office after you get home to schedule a checkup in 10-14 days or as instructed by your surgeon.

Finally, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your surgery or recuperation please DO NOT HESITATE to call our office –we are here to help in any way we can.

Foris Surgical Group, LLP
45 Thomas Johnson Drive, Suite 211
Frederick, MD 21702
(301)-694-3200