Cholecystectomy or the removal of the gallbladder through surgery comes in two types: open cholecystectomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In both cases, the whole gallbladder is removed to treat gallstone formation or other conditions in the gallbladder.
Although cholecystectomy is not that risky, recommendations during the gallbladder surgery recovery period should still be firmly followed. This will allow your body to heal and to adjust to the loss of your gallbladder.
Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Time
For open surgery patients, gallbladder removal recovery time is longer and more delicate. Because the risk of infection and complications are higher, hospital stay could last from 2 to 4 days. The muscle and skin will also take a longer time to fully heal. Full recovery takes about several weeks.
If you decide to have laparoscopic or non-invasive gallbladder removal, you can expect a quicker recovery time. The minimal incisions reduce the chances of risks and complications, and greatly hasten overall healing time. Often, patients are allowed to go home on the day of surgery itself. Full laparoscopic cholecystectomy recovery takes about a week.
Recommended Recovery from Gallbladder Surgery
Patients who undergo cholecystectomy can return to their normal activities and do not need complete bed rest during the gall bladder surgery recovery time.
However, minimal activity and non-strenuous exercises should be followed in the next few weeks, especially when recovering from open surgery.
- Driving, walking and even climbing up stairs will pose no problems to recovering patients.
- Getting a shower is allowed a day after being discharged.
- Heavy lifting should be totally avoided.
During the recovery time for gallbladder surgery you’ll need to follow a diet of low-fat high-fiber foods. Patients feeling nausea as an aftereffect to the anesthesia may have to eat a clear liquid diet only until the anesthesia wears off.
Afterwards, you should be able to eat a balanced diet, but one that is free from greasy and oily foods. Too much fat can cause digestive pains since the body has not yet fully adjusted to the bile level in the intestine. This often leads to gallbladder removal side effects, like diarrhea.
In addition to diarrhea, constipation and cramping could also be experienced during recovery after gallbladder surgery. To ease the pain, bile salts can be taken as a last option. Many doctors also recommend following the BRAT diet for diarrhea, which includes bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Basically, reducing stomach pain entails stricter adherence to the gallbladder removal diet plan.