Gallbladder Treatment: Gallbladder Removal Surgery and Recovery Time
Cholecystectomy, otherwise known as gallbladder removal surgery, was once done as an open procedure, requiring a long, slow recovery and a large scar. Today, most gallbladder removals are done with a laparoscope. Laparoscopic surgery is now the most widely used gallbladder treatment today and it uses very small incisions which are usually hidden in or around the belly button. Long, slim, surgical tools are inserted, along with a video camera which allows the surgeon to work with precision inside of the abdomen. Gas or air is used to inflate the abdomen prior to surgery and this can lead to some discomfort afterward. It will take roughly one week for residual air to be absorbed into the GI tract and be dispelled. During this time, abdominal bloating and gas pain is often reported. Recovering from laparoscopic cholecystectomy will only take 1 to 3 weeks for most people- far less than the 6 weeks or more that the open surgery required. There are a few symptoms you can expect as you heal and ways to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Gas Left Within Stomach Cavity
You will likely have some pain in your abdomen which could radiate to one or both shoulders. This pain is related to the gas still left in the abdomen after surgery and should resolve within a week.
Some people find that they have a sore throat for a few days post operatively. This may be related to the breathing tube used while you are under general anesthetic. Sucking on ice chips or a hot drink may help to soothe the throat.
Vomiting And Nausea
Nausea and vomiting may occur after your procedure. Ask your doctor about prescribing a strong pain medication if you find that it persists. Try to eat small, light, reduced fat meals. You may eat a regular diet but most people find that heavy, high fat or fired foods are not easily digested within the first few weeks of gallbladder removal.
Some people experienced prolonged loose stools after eating for 8 weeks or more. Your doctor may advise you to eliminate several things including high fat, acidic or fried foods and recommend you slowly reintroduce them when your digestive tract has normalized.
Wound care will be simple. You may note minor redness or sensitivity at incision sites. Incisions may be covered with small steri strips or have a couple of sutures in place. Keep incisions covered and clean. They will heal within roughly two weeks. You can expect to have a follow up appointment 1 – 2 weeks post op.
Unexpected Immediate Side Effects After Gallbladder Surgery
You should let your doctor know if you notice any of the following unexpected symptoms:
– An elevated temperature above 101°F (38.3°C).
– Bleeding or drainage from your incisions.
– Difficulty breathing or persistent cough.
– Persistent pain which is not relieved with medication.
– Grey stool or yellow skin and eyes.
All Gallbladder Symptoms May Return After Gallbladder Surgery
There are also postcholecystectomy syndrome, a term that coins how in some individuals who go thru gallbladder surgery will have the orginal gallbladder symptoms: the vomitting, bloating and even the sharp pain return after the surgery even after years have passed. Studies do comfirm that up to 50% of gallbladder surgery patients come back with the same or worst symptoms.
Alternatives Gallbladder Treatments To Surgery
There are all-natural non-intrusive alternatives gallbladder treatments to surgery. There are flushes that help purge gallstones from the liver and gallbladder They require about one week for completion. There is a new program called the Pulverexx Protocol that is used to dissolve gallstones of all sizes in the liver, gallbladder and common bile ducts, even at the mouth of the pancreas. The program takes about 1 month.