How to cope after gall bladder surgery

Updated February 21, 2017

Recovering from Gallbladder surgery is different for everyone, but the bottom line is that even with the laparoscopic method, your organs must be rearranged in order to get to the Gallbladder, which causes bruising, swelling and discomfort. These steps will help you cope with the pain and discomfort experienced after Gallbladder surgery.

Take the pain medication. This isn't the time for "being a man" or "toughing it out." Your doctor prescribed them for a reason.

Have someone on hand to help you at all times. Whether it be a spouse, family member or friend, you need someone to assist you with everything from sitting up in bed to sitting down on the toilet as your abdominal muscles will be very sore. From a laying position, have them place one arm behind your back to lift you into a seated position while you hold onto their other hand or arm. From a seated position, have the person stand in front of you, place both your hands on his shoulder and slowly use your leg muscles to stand.

Eat low-fat and fat-free foods only. Until you know how your digestive system will handle heavier foods, stick to mild, bland and light foods.

Eat small amounts of food several times a day. Keeping nourished will help stave off nausea sometimes associated with pain medication. Eat small portions to avoid feeling full, which will place pressure on your internal organs and cause pain.

Drink hot liquids if you feel any chest and/or shoulder pain in the hours and days following surgery. This pain is caused by the air that was puffed into your belly during surgery in order to create more space for the surgeon to work. It is not cause for alarm.

Take short walks. Walk around the inside of your house at first and then work up to outdoor walking. This promotes healthy blood circulation, which in turn promotes healing.

Follow up with your doctor. He will want to see you one week after surgery and again approximately 5 weeks later.

Follow your doctor's orders regarding bathing. Your stitches need time to heal and washing them too soon can damage them.

Take anti-diarrheal medication if you are having trouble digesting after the first month. This can last for weeks, months or years, although some people never have any digestive issues. Be sure to tell your doctor in your follow-up visits.


Call your doctor if you experience fever over 100 degrees, chills, jaundice, irritation around the incisions, dark urine, light-colored stool or increased abdominal pain. Do not drive until you are off all pain medication.

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