Different people respond in different ways after gallbladder removal surgery.
But in a number of cases, those who expect a dramatic change after their procedure often get a surprise.
There’s a medical term for this phenomenon. It’s called postcholecystectomy syndrome (cholecystectomy is the medical name for gallbladder removal procedure).
According to some recent studies, postcholecystectomy syndrome may take place 40 percent of people who have had their gallbladder removed. Why does this happen? It’s because the bile duct continues to accumulate bile. The bile duct is a tube that carries bile between the liver and the gallbladder.
Here are some things to expect in the days after your gallbladder removal surgery.
There’s bound to be some swelling and bruising in the area of the surgery. This is easy to understand. No matter what type of surgery you have, there is some trauma to the body, and it will react with bruising and swelling.
Shortly after your surgery, you may also feel some discomfort as a result of the air that was puffed into your abdomen during the operation. The reason your doctor inserts air in this way is to open up space to manipulate his or her instruments. Certain pain medications prescribed by your doctor will help ease any discomfort this causes.
Keep in mind that it’s probably going to be uncomfortable moving around, especially sitting down or getting up from a sitting position. This may be especially true when it comes to “bathroom time.” Abdominal muscles will need at least several days to heal before soreness fades.
You’re probably going to have to cope with some bloating, gas and diarrhea for several days while your digestive system adjusts to its new circumstances. Some patients get constipation instead of diarrhea. This doesn’t happen too often, so there’s no reason to be worried if it happens to you. If bowel movements become somewhat distressing, check with your doctor to see what he or she can recommend to help.
Keep in mind, it’s completely normal for your digestive system to be somewhat unpredictable. For this reason, it’s a good idea to follow your doctor’s dietary instructions. Low cholesterol foods and cholesterol-free foods tend to work best for most people.
Most patients also do better if they forego large meals for a while and concentrate oin eating smaller ones that are easier for the digestive system to handle. But definitely make sure you get enough to eat, because again, your body is recovering from a trauma. It needs good nutrition to recover its strength.
You can start testing your digestion in the weeks after gallbladder removal surgery to see what foods it can handle.
Check with your doctor about exercise. It can help, but you have to be smart about it – be careful not to overdo it. Be mindful of your stitches. Your doctor can give you some guidelines.
Generally speaking, it’s important to keep your stitches dry, so consult your doctor about baths and showers.
Your first follow up visit to your doctor will probably take place in 7-10 days. He or she will probably want to see you a month or so after that.