Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) removes the gallbladder and gallstones through several small cuts (incisions) in the abdomen. The surgeon inflates the patient’s abdomen with air or carbon dioxide in order to see clearly.
Sometimes patients are nauseated after waking from the anesthesia. This sensation usually passes. If it does not, medication can be given to relieve it.
Postoperative pain can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Some patients may need a stronger, prescription analgesic.
The incisions are covered by small adhesive bandages that can be removed in about 5 days and the stitches dissolve over time. The area must be kept dry until the wound begins to heal and sponge baths are recommended for the first day or two.
Recovery from the laparoscopic procedure is quicker than from the open procedure. As the anesthesia wears off, and once vital signs stabilize, the nurse offers the patient ice chips. If ice is tolerated, water and other clear liquids are offered. Once liquids are tolerated, patients can eat a light meal and the IV is removed.