Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Post-Op Instructions


You have had a “Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy”. This just means your gallbladder was removed using a small camera and instruments through 3 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 much beyond two to three 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 Dermabond (glue-like dressing) on them to protect them from water. You may wash over the Dermabond in the shower. Please do not soak in a tub or bath. 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 and avoid prolonged submersion for about 10 days. Leave the Dermabond on. You may peal off the Dermabond if it is still on at two weeks post-op, but it will flake off on its own.

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 2 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. Please call the office to make your post-operative appointment for about 14 days from the surgery if you don’t already have one.