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Iceni Magazine | July 2, 2022

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Recovering from Gallbladder Removal: What to Expect

Recovering from Gallbladder Removal: What to Expect

When it comes to different ailments and conditions, gallstones are probably one of the most common – plenty of people of a certain age have it, and it’s no surprise.

However, more often than not, the only sure way you can treat it would be through surgery, especially if it has become painful or has caused an obstruction. But whilst it is understandable to have some concerns when you go for gallbladder removal surgery – you are, after all, going under the knife – most people who have it can leave on the same day if they have a keyhole or laparoscopic surgery. But what else should you expect when it comes to gallbladder removal? Are there any side effects with the procedure? Here’s what you should know about recovering from gallbladder removal.

The general guidelines

The recovery period will depend on whether you’ve had laparoscopic or open surgery. As mentioned, those who’ve had laparoscopic or keyhole surgery can go home on the same day, provided they had surgery in the morning. It will take approximately two weeks before you can return to your job, but longer if your job involves manual labour.

For open surgery, you will stay in the hospital for around three to five days, and recovery will take longer. Before going back to your routine, you need about three to four weeks. If you’ve got a job that involves manual labour, it will take you around six to eight weeks before you can fully recover. Make sure a person stays with you for the first 24 hours after your operation and just until the effects of the anaesthesia wear off.

What you need to know about the side effects

A gallbladder surgeon in London from the London Surgical Group would be the first to tell you that since people can live without their gallbladder, the effects would be virtually non-existent. But there are some temporary effects that can occur, so you have to be aware of those.

You can have, for instance, temporary swelling and bruising as well as pain on the site of the wound itself, but this should get better in a few days. The same surgeons from the recommend taking painkillers (like paracetamol) for a couple of days to reduce the pain and discomfort. Aside from this, you may also feel a bit sick because of the painkillers or anaesthetic, but this should quickly pass.

Another side effect would be a pain in the shoulders and tummy; this comes from the gas that was used for inflating your tummy, and it should also go away after a few days. Other side effects could include flatulence, diarrhoea, and bloating – all of this can last for several weeks, but as long as you make it a point to have a diet that’s high in fibre, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice (aside from the usual fruits and veggies), you’ll be fine.

To recover completely, you also need to care for your stitches and wounds and will be told by your GP how to do so; and they will also tell you how long your dressings should stay and when you could take a bath or shower. You will have scars, although the scars from laparoscopic surgery will be minimal. These scars will also be red at first, but they will gradually fade and become lighter in time.

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