About one million Americans will have their gallbladder removed this year. There are two main reasons for gallbladder surgery – inflammation or gallstones. Gallbladder surgery recovery may vary based on the individual but there are certain things that are helpful to know if you have an upcoming surgery or have just gotten gallbladder surgery.
Keep reading to learn more about the recovery process from surgery recovery timeline to gallbladder surgery recovery tips.
Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Timeline
So, how long does it take to recover from gallbladder surgery? The recovery timeline after gallbladder surgery depends on which type of surgery you have. There are two types of gallbladder surgery – laparoscopic and open surgery.
For laparoscopic surgery, the recovery is about one to two weeks. Most people return home from the hospital the same day as surgery. Many people return to work after two weeks depending on the type of job they have. You should only return to regular activity when your doctor says it’s okay.
Open surgery takes longer to recover from. After open surgery patients will usually stay in the hospital for about three to five days. Total recovery may take about three to four weeks. It could be up to eight weeks before a patient can return to manual work or an intense workout regimen.
What to Expect During Recovery
Every person’s recovery is going to be different but within the first 24 hours of surgery, you can expect pain and fatigue. Usually, your doctor will tell you that you can remove bandages to shower and then gently dry the area. Do not take a bath for at least two weeks after surgery.
About two to three days after surgery you may experience pain, fatigue, and swelling near the incision site. You may also experience nausea, particularly if you are taking pain medication.
One to two weeks after surgery you could experience diarrhea, burping, and gas. You may also continue to feel pain, swelling, and bloating for a few weeks.
Tips for Recovery
Recovering from gallbladder surgery can be difficult but caring for yourself can make some of the symptoms better. During the first week, rest when you feel tired and get plenty of sleep. Walking each day can help with constipation and be a way to boost your mood but be sure you get approval from your doctor first.
Try eating small, low-fat meals during recovery. If you are experiencing stomach problems, try bland food like plain rice, chicken, or toast and avoid alcohol and spicy foods. You can also try bile salt supplements to improve digestion and recovery from surgery. Buy bile salt supplements here.
Take care of your incision by keeping it clean and dry. Change the bandage every day. If you have questions about incision care or are worried about potential infection, talk to your doctor right away.
Rest, Recover, Return
Gallbladder surgery recovery depends on the type of surgery you have. Recovery may take one to two weeks for laparoscopic and up to four weeks for open surgery. It may take longer before being able to return to all of your normal activities.
During the recovery process, you may experience pain, swelling, fatigue, diarrhea, and gas. If you are concerned about your symptoms talk to your doctor. If you want to read more articles like this one, browse our other lifestyle, health, and entertainment content.