Discharge Instructions for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
You have had a procedure called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This is a surgery to remove your gallbladder. People who have this procedure often recover more quickly and have less pain than with open gallbladder surgery (called open cholecystectomy). Many surgeons advise a low-fat diet, staying away from fried food in particular, for the first month after surgery.
You can live a full and healthy life without your gallbladder. This includes eating the foods and doing the things you enjoyed before your gallbladder problems started.
Recommendations for home care include the following:
- Ask someone to drive you to your appointments for the next 3 days. Don't drive until you are no longer taking pain medicine and can step on the brake pedal without hesitation.
- Wash the skin around your cut (incision) daily with mild soap and water. It's OK to shower the day after your surgery.
- Eat your regular diet. Try to stay away from rich, greasy, or spicy food for a few days.
- Remember, it takes at least 1 week for you to get most of your strength and energy back.
- If you are constipated, talk about a bowel regimen with your provider. Pain medicines can be constipating. Increased fiber and a stool softener are often helpful.
- Make an office visit to talk with your healthcare provider if these symptoms don't go away in a week after your surgery:
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Pain around the incision
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Loss of appetite
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
- Yellowing of your eyes or skin (jaundice)
- Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, pus, or a bad smell at the incision site
- Dark or rust-colored urine
- Stool that is clay-colored or light in color instead of brown
- Increasing belly pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Leg swelling
StayWell last reviewed this educational content on 6/1/2019
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