Small stones can sometimes form in your gallbladder. They can block the exit of the gallbladder and cause it to spasm when it's trying to release bile, which causes extreme abdominal pain. Having your gallbladder surgically removed is an effective way of preventing the pain from gallstones from reoccurring.
Gallbladder removal is a common general surgery procedure that causes little or no lifelong complications because your gallbladder isn't an essential organ. Recovering from the surgery is relatively easy, and you'll typically be able to return to regular activity within a few weeks. If you've scheduled gallbladder removal surgery or are considering it to eliminate your gallstone pain, read on to learn what you should do after surgery.
Avoid Bending at the Waist or Lifting Heavy Objects Until Your Incisions Heal
When you're recovering from gallbladder removal surgery, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you'll need to limit your physical activity until your incisions have fully healed. Don't bend over at your waist or lift heavy objects until your surgeon has told you that you can do so. Both of these movements place pressure on your incision sites, and too much pressure can cause your incisions to open up.
Introduce Fatty Foods to Your Diet Slowly During Recovery
Your liver produces bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. Whenever you eat fatty food, your gallbladder releases some of the bile into your intestines, and the bile helps break down fat in the food. After you have your gallbladder removed, bile goes directly from your liver to your small intestines. This can change the way that you digest fatty foods.
After surgery, reintroduce fatty foods to your diet slowly. You'll still be able to eat them without a gallbladder, but eating too much fat shortly after surgery can cause diarrhea and nausea. Taking it slowly with fatty foods after having your gallbladder removed will help reduce digestive upset.
Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Infection
As with any surgery, infection is a possible complication of having your gallbladder removed. If your incision sites become painful and red or if they start leaking pus, call your surgeon's office as soon as possible. You should also call them if you start running a high fever and become very ill. This can be a sign of an infection in your abdominal cavity.
Ultimately, the two main things you need to do after having your gallbladder removed are to limit your physical activity to avoid disturbing your incisions and keep watch for signs of infection. Eating fatty foods after having your gallbladder removed won't harm you, but it can cause gastrointestinal upset until your digestive system has acclimated. Recovering from gallbladder removal is a relatively easy process compared to recovering from other types of general surgery, You should be fully healed and ready to return to normal activity within a few weeks.