What to Expect After Gallbladder Surgery

There are times when an organ presents more of a liability than an asset, which is certainly true of your gallbladder. If you need to have gallbladder surgery to remove it because of infection or gallstones, you may have questions about what life will be like immediately after your procedure and whether there are any long-term consequences.

At Rockwall Surgical Specialists, our team of highly qualified surgeons wants to ensure that you fully understand any procedure we perform. When it comes to a cholecystectomy, which is the medical term for gallbladder removal, here’s what you need to know.

Recovery from gallbladder surgery

In most cases, we can perform your gallbladder removal laparoscopically, which is a minimally invasive technique that reduces your risks and your recovery time considerably. With laparoscopy, we only need to make very small incisions, through which we thread a camera and specialized instruments that allow us to avoid more invasive open surgery. 

Going a step further, we also offer single-site robotic cholecystectomies, which is a highly advanced surgical approach that requires only one small incision to allow tiny robotic arms access while we control them to do the work more precisely than human hands could manage in the small space.

In either case, your recovery time is substantially reduced because you don’t have to contend with a large incision and collateral tissue damage. In terms of recovery, this means we may be able to remove your gallbladder in an outpatient procedure so you can go home the same day.

Once you’re back home, you should plan on taking it easy for two weeks and avoid any strenuous activities. Rest assured, we provide you with complete aftercare instructions, and we closely monitor your progress to allow you to get back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

Life without your gallbladder

Once you’ve recovered from your surgery, you may have questions about what life is like without your gallbladder. In most cases, our patients are surprised by how little things change in their daily routines, except for the welcome relief from the pain.

Your gallbladder’s primary function is to store bile from your liver and release it into your intestines to aid in digestion. After your surgery, your liver still delivers bile, but it does so directly into your intestines.

Due to this new delivery system, it may take a little while for your digestive tract to adjust, which is why we recommend a liquid or bland diet for the first week after your surgery. You should especially avoid fat, which is more difficult to process.

To aid your digestive system and ensure optimal function, we also suggest that you make sure you’re taking in enough fiber. This nutrient is critical for cleaning out your digestive tract, namely your large intestine.

While a low-fat, high-fiber diet is important during the first weeks after your surgery, this type of eating is great for your digestive system moving forward. We encourage you to make it a permanent lifestyle change.

If you have more questions about life after gallbladder surgery, contact Rockwall Surgical Specialists. You can call one of our locations in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, or Forney, Texas, or conveniently book an appointment online.

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