After Gall Bladder Surgery
Recovering After Gallbladder Surgery
Recovering after gallbladder surgery can be quite a long process for some individuals while others are back to work within a few days. Bile that is secreted from your liver is held in the tiny sac that is known as your gallbladder. After you eat, in order for the fat to be metabolized, your gallbladder has to release a small amount of bile into your intestines.
You may be surprised to hear that you actually can live an unaffected life without having your gallbladder. When it is absent, your liver still continues to produce and secrete bile when it is needed only it goes directly into the intestines rather than being held in the gallbladder first. It is estimated that gallbladders are removed out of half of a million people every year. Recovery time after gallbladder surgery depends on your personal diet and lifestyle as well as what type of surgery that you have.
The large majority of individuals having their gallbladder removed will have it done laparoscopically. The surgeon only needs to make a few slits that are quite small in the abdomen. Various types of instruments are then inserted through these slits to take the gallbladder out.
In a small percentage of people who either have liver problems or an extremely diseased gallbladder, an open surgery has to be performed. One large incision about five to seven inches has to be used to remove the gallbladder.
Choices that you make regarding your diet after gallbladder surgery play a huge role in your future health. Since fats in your food are digested with bile, these types of fatty foods may not digest as easy as they used to and you may feel that you simply cannot tolerate some food choices any longer. If you continue to eat foods that are high in fat, you may end up with severe diarrhea because the food passes much quicker through your intestines now. In fact, it is reported that at least 20 percent of individuals suffer from severe diarrhea for several weeks after gallbladder surgery.
Your doctor will recommend a diet that is quite low in fat and then you will be able to add a bit to it here and there. However, some individuals have none of these issues and seem to be able to eat the same foods that they always did. You are the only one who can effectively monitor how you feel after eating something.
After gallbladder surgery if you had the laparoscopic method done, you will find recovery time to be relatively short. Many patients are free to go home the exact same day. After a few days of rest, some feel much better and as though they are well enough to go to work. Typically, doctors will recommend that you take about a week off of work. You will be given a prescription for pain medication that you should not drive on until you know how you will be affected by it.
However, if you happen to have an open surgery procedure, recovery can typically take between six and eight weeks because the surgeon actually cuts through muscles. There is a good chance that you will spend a minimum of two days after gallbladder surgery in the hospital. The nurses will help you out of bed and attempt very slow walking when you feel that you are strong enough to try, when you go home, you will need to be very careful and take it easy for awhile. Over the next few weeks, you will slowly build your stamina up and any heavy lifting is strictly prohibited for at least two months.
- Call your doctor if you experience fever, pain or swelling around the incision, decrease in urine or urine that is cloudy or foul-smelling.
- Clean the incision area a few times per day. The hospital staff will tell you how to do this properly before you leave the hospital.
- Perform pelvic exercises to regain full bladder control.
- Exercise regularly. Take it slow and start out with very slow, short walks and increase this as you feel that you are able to. Be careful not to overdo it.
- If you have issues with depression after gallbladder surgery, consider joining a support group.