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Recovering From Gallbladder Surgery: What to Expect

Recovering From Gallbladder Surgery: What to Expect

About 20 million Americans have gallstones — solid, rock-like formations that can block your bile duct — and about 300,000 of those people get a cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal. But gallstones aren’t the only reason for removing this organ; you might need to do so to treat other conditions, such as:

Whatever reason you need gallbladder surgery, you can trust Dr. Nirav Naik to perform the procedure with precision. He has many years of experience treating gallbladder problems at New Life Medical in Bakersfield, California, and he uses the most advanced techniques to ensure safety, fewer complications, and exceptional outcomes. 

Your surgery’s success depends a great deal on how you approach your post-surgery recovery, so we’ve outlined the best practices to ensure a smooth experience and have you back to normal in no time.

The day of your gallbladder surgery

In addition to skill and experience, patients needing gallbladder removal seek out Dr. Naik for his expertise in the latest procedure — robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery.

Unlike traditional open surgery, laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive, requiring a single incision hidden in your belly button. The relatively quick operation takes less than an hour under general anesthesia.

Immediately following your surgery, we monitor your recovery closely and help you transition from anesthesia. When it wears off, we help you sit up, stand, and even take a short walk. As soon as you’re feeling stable and less groggy, a friend or family member can drive you home.

The week following your gallbladder surgery

Although everyone experiences post-surgery differently, most people report mild pain and discomfort in the first few days following gallbladder removal. Over-the-counter pain relievers should help, but if you need something stronger, Dr. Naik can provide a prescription.

You can generally shower as soon as one day after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. The surgical tape or glue we use to close your incision gradually disappears as your body heals.

As is the case after all surgical procedures, you should avoid lifting heavy objects and engaging in strenuous exercise until you’ve healed. Most people take about a week off of work or school to recover from minimally invasive gallbladder removal surgery, but you should still take it easy. 

You may notice excess gassiness and abdominal discomfort due to the air we use to inflate your abdominal cavity during surgery. You may also experience diarrhea or constipation during the week after your surgery. If it persists or becomes severe, contact us. You should also call us if you experience:

Although complications aren’t common, they are possible, so don’t hesitate to call us if you suspect a problem.

Post-gallbladder removal diet

You can live without your gallbladder, but your body needs to learn how. Ease yourself into post-surgery life by sticking to a clear liquid diet for a day or two. Introduce mild, easily digestible foods like those in the BRAT diet: bread, rice, applesauce, and toast. 

Once your stools are back to normal (no longer runny), add fruit, eggs, chicken, low-fat dairy, and fish. Avoiding spicy, fried, processed, and fatty foods gives you a better chance of transitioning smoothly back to a normal diet. 

Life after gallbladder removal

Most people live and eat normally after gallbladder removal surgery, although some report gassiness and bloating after eating fatty foods. 

Dr. Naik can help you navigate life after gallbladder removal and address any concerns that might arise. Call New Life Medical today for more information about robotic-assisted laparoscopic gallbladder removal.

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