A person can lead a normal healthy life without a gallbladder. The surgical procedure of gallbladder removal is called cholecystectomy. A gallbladder needs to be removed when there is the presence of gallstones or have gallbladder cancer. The gallstones can cause pain and inflammation, jaundice, and pancreatitis. There are two main ways of performing the surgery – traditional open method and minimally invasive surgery(laparoscopic surgery). The recovery time depends a lot upon the type of surgery that is being performed. Although, the laparoscopic gallbladder surgery takes faster recovery time. With the laparoscopic surgery, generally is patient is discharged within 24 hours of the operation and can return to work within 72 hours of the operation. However, one should be ready to experience the following if the gallbladder needs to be removed
Pain: Generally, there is minimal pain associated with this surgery. However, some pain in the shoulder can be experienced due to gas that can disappear on its own. Surgeons do suggest some pain medications if required, case by case basis.
Wound Care: The four small wounds on the abdomen need to be kept clean. A person can take the shower as soon as the bandages are removed.
Diet: The diet is strictly followed as per the surgeon’s instructions. A healthy and balanced diet is always advised. Foods rich in fiber should be included to keep the bowels move regularly. These include fresh fruits and vegetables to avoid constipation.
Constipation: Constipation is common during a surgery due to anesthesia, pain medications, and decreased activity. The doctor may suggest stool softeners and suggest to take more fluids and fiber.
Exercise: Walking as much as you can and a moderate amount of exercise is advisable after the surgery. Although, one should not lift anything heavier that may hurt the wound.
Driving: A person can start driving it comfortable, generally within a week of the operation.
There are some possible complications after any operation. Some of the rare and short-term complications can include bile leaks and wound infections. Consult the surgeon immediately if any of these persists to avoid any further long-term complications. This information is provided to help someone to understand the meaning of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Therefore, think positive and do not fear the word ‘surgery’. Have a successful one and get well soon.