You have had a “Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy”. This just means your Gallbladder was removed using a small camera and instruments through 4 separate small incisions. After having your Gallbladder removed, there are no limitations on your diet. After the surgery, you may feel full or nauseated easily with a large meal. The bowels usually need some time to begin functioning normally again, so the first one or two days after the surgery this is normal. If it persists beyond one or two days, you should call the office for advice. Some people experience diarrhea after the Gallbladder is removed. Most people have this resolve in the first few months, and others never experience diarrhea. If you are experiencing diarrhea for more than a couple of weeks, please contact the office for advice.
The incisions have “Steri-Strips” (small tape) across them, and a plastic adhesive dressing over the top to protect them from water. You may wash over the plastic dressings in the shower. Please do not soak in a tub or bath as this may loosen the plastic dressings and they may fall off, leaving the incisions exposed. After about 48-72 hours, the incisions in the skin are watertight, but they are still very weak, so it’s important to protect them for about 7 days. Leave the plastic dressings on for at least 72 hours after the operation. You may remove the plastic, gauze and cotton ball after 72 hours, but leave the Steri-Strips in place. You may then wash gently with soap and water over the Steri-strips, but be sure to dry them well after your shower. If the Steri-strips have not fallen off by themselves in 7 days after your surgery, you may remove them.
Note: You may have a special “skin glue” over your incisions instead of the tape and plastic. If you have skin glue, you do not need to do anything special with this. The glue will come off over the next few weeks. You may shower over the glue gently with soap and water. Do not soak in a tub or pool for 2 weeks after your surgery. After 2 weeks, if the skin glue is still there, you may remove it and you may soak in a tub or pool if you like.
Your activity level should be reduced the first two weeks after the surgery. The incisions are about 60% strength of normal tissue at 6 weeks. I generally advise not to lift anything more than 15lbs. for about 6 weeks. You can increase your activity to moderate exercise after the first two weeks. I often advise to “let pain be your guide” in your recovery. This just means you can steadily increase your activity as long your pain is under control. Often after surgery you may have a few days where you feel really well. This is usually when people increase their activity level and the following day feel very sore or very tired. This is normal. It’s OK to do this, just be aware you may experience these “ups and downs” for a few weeks. Just as long as you are improving from week to week, you are on the right road to recovery.
If you should have fevers, chills, increasing nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain please contact the office. If you have any other questions or concerns during your recovery, please do not hesitate to either email or call us at anytime. Our phone system electronically and immediately alerts us to new messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so if you do call after hours please leave a message and someone will return your call. Please call the office to make your post-operative appointment about 14 days from the surgery.
It was a pleasure helping you with you care.