Cholecystectomy (ko-luh-sis-TEK-tuh-mee) is surgery to remove the
gallbladder and gallstones. It is usually done as a laparoscopic surgery. Some
people call this "Band-aid surgery" because it requires only small cuts
(incisions). To do this type of surgery, a doctor puts a lighted tube, or
scope, and other surgical tools through the small incisions in your belly. The
doctor is able to see your organs with the scope. After your gallbladder is
removed, you will no longer have gallstones. The incisions leave scars that
usually fade with time.
Most people go home the day of surgery.
You probably will feel better each day. Most people have only a small amount of
pain after 1 week. If you have a desk-type job, you will probably be able to
return to work or your normal routine in 1 to 2 weeks. If you lift heavy
objects or have a very active job, such as being a carpenter or doing outdoor
work, it may take up to 4 weeks.
Either before or during surgery,
your doctor may choose to do an open surgery instead. In this type of surgery,
your doctor will make a larger cut in your upper belly. You will probably stay
in the hospital for 2 to 4 days, and it may take 4 to 6 weeks before you get
back to your normal routine.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all
appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good
idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you
Having surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect and
how to safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter G508 in the search box to learn more about "Cholecystectomy: Before Your Surgery."
Current as of:
August 9, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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