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Gallbladder Surgery: Your Complete Guide to an Optimal Recovery

Gallbladder Surgery: Your Complete Guide to an Optimal Recovery

Every year, about 300,000 Americans have gallbladder surgery, also known as cholecystectomy, to alleviate pain and discomfort due to gallstones or other gallbladder-related issues. 

While this surgery is relatively routine here at Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery, it's essential to approach your recovery with care and diligence to ensure a smooth and optimal healing process. 

Our fellowship-trained surgeon, Aliu O. Sanni, MD, walks you through the key steps and considerations for a successful recovery from gallbladder surgery.

Before surgery

We begin with a consultation that involves a detailed discussion to help you understand the surgical approach (laparoscopic or open surgery), potential risks, and expected outcomes. We also address any doubts or concerns you may have.

 

In addition, we provide specific instructions you need to follow carefully for the days leading up to your surgery, which may include fasting and medication adjustments.

During surgery

We use general anesthesia during your procedure, ensuring you won't feel any pain or discomfort during surgery. We perform a laparoscopic or open cholecystectomy, depending on your condition and needs. 

Laparoscopic surgery typically results in a shorter recovery period and less scarring.

After surgery

Here’s what you can expect following your procedure:

Time in the hospital

Most patients go home the same day or the day after surgery for laparoscopic procedures. Open surgeries may require a more extended hospital stay.

Pain management

You may experience some pain or discomfort after surgery. We prescribe pain medications to manage this, so take them as directed.

Diet

Initially, we place you on a clear liquid diet, then you progress to solid foods as tolerated. Avoid fatty or greasy foods, because your body may have trouble digesting them without the gallbladder.

Activity

Start with light activities and gradually increase your level of physical activity. Walking is an excellent way to aid digestion and reduce the risk of blood clots.

Long-term recovery

To maintain a healthy recovery after your surgery, we recommend you adjust your diet to accommodate the absence of your gallbladder. Focus on a low-fat, high-fiber diet to prevent digestive issues. Stay adequately hydrated, as water is a must for your digestion and overall health.

We may suggest adding digestive enzymes to your daily routine to help break down fats. We also encourage you to maintain your weight to avoid the increased risk of gallstone formation that being overweight can cause.

Most importantly, attend all of your postoperative appointments at our practice in Snellville, Georgia, so we can monitor your progress and address any concerns.

Potential complications

While gallbladder surgery is generally safe, complications can occur. Though rare, they may include infection, bleeding, bile leakage, or injury to nearby organs. If you experience severe pain, jaundice, or persistent nausea and vomiting, contact us immediately.

Recovery expectations

Recovering from gallbladder surgery varies from person to person, but following these guidelines can speed your healing. We encourage you to be patient while your body takes time to adjust to its altered digestive system.

The good news is gallbladder surgery is a common procedure with a high success rate. By preparing well before surgery, adhering to postoperative instructions, and making necessary lifestyle adjustments, you can have a smooth and optimal recovery. 

Our goal is to help you get back to your daily life without the pain and discomfort of gallbladder issues.

To schedule an evaluation or consultation, call us at 201-565-0876 or request an appointment online at our Snellville, Georgia, office today.

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