Some degree of pain is normal after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, a minimally-invasive procedure during which the gallbladder is removed through several small abdominal incisions. Much of the pain after the procedure is due to gas. Pain medications are supplied as needed, ranging from narcotic pain relievers for the most severe pain to over-the-counter analgesic medications for the least severe. There are also lifestyle adjustments that can be made to minimise the effects of gas while you heal from the surgery.
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Limit additional gas from entering your body when swallowing. Chew food slowly and carefully and do not gulp beverages. Do not swallow until your mouth is closed.
Avoid foods that are known to create additional gas in your body. Some examples are broccoli, corn, cabbage, beans, dairy products and carbonated beverages. Limit intake of these foods to relieve excess gas build-up while your digestive tract recovers from the surgery.
Take a short walk to help gas move through your digestive tract and reduce the resulting pain. Walking also helps your body to absorb excess gas remaining after surgery. Short walks around your home are sufficient. Strenuous exercise and lengthy walks are not advised.
Ask your doctor if you can take over-the-counter antacids. These products taken before eating can stop gas from travelling to the intestines and eliminate the corresponding pain.
Contact your doctor if gas pain persists after passing gas, or if it continues for several days in conjunction with fever, persistent heartburn, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea or vomiting. These symptoms may be indicative of post-surgery complications such as a blocked bile duct.
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