GALLSTONES / GALLBLADDER SURGERY FAQ’s
How long is the operation?
Most laparoscopic cholecystectomy operations take about 45min to 1 hour.
What are the risk of laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery?
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is considered safe and relatively low risk, but with all surgeries there are risks and unforeseen complications that can happen and must be taken into consideration by the patient. Some of the specific risks include but are not limited to the following: bleeding, infection, arterial or venous injury, liver injury, bowel injury, biliary injury or post operative leak conversion to open surgery. Another serious potential injury is a biliary duct injury or injury to the bile ducts. These complications may require conversion of the laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery to an open cholecystectomy surgery which may lead to additional surgery(s) and complications. As with all surgeries, there is always risks of bleeding, infections, pain, anesthesia risks and death.
Do I need my Gallbladder?
As strange as it may seem, the general medical consensus is that you don’t need your gallbladder because the gallbladder is simply a storage bag for bile. The liver is capable of adapting and making more than enough bile to help digest your food after your gallbladder is removed. Rarely, people may have bowel changes such as loose stools after this type of surgery.
When can I shower?
If Dr. Klause used skin glue, you can shower, go the pool or ocean the same day, but if there are steri-strips or staples, you may shower in about 3 or 4 days. Usually, the glue will fall off in 1-2 weeks. You can remove it in three weeks if it is still there.
When can I work or drive?
Most people can drive and work soon after pain is well controlled. The criteria for driving is that the patient should not be taking any narcotic pain medication and the patient can move around comfortably enough to drive safely.
Is bruising normal?
Yes, some bruising and swelling is expected and is considered normal. If the bruising or swelling is getting larger or expanding, call Dr. Klause’s office or go to the Emergency Room.
Do I need to have my stitches removed?
No, almost all the stitches are under the skin and will absorb in time. They do not need to be removed.
How will I know if I have an infection?
Infections are rare but do happen nonetheless. They generally present with expanding wound redness a few days after surgery and can present even weeks later. Redness following surgery is normal and usually resolves in a few days. A purple pink wound is a normal – healing wound. If it does not clear up or goes away but then comes back again, contact Dr. Klause’s office to get instructions or go to the Emergency Room.
What should I do if I am constipated?
Constipation can happen after surgery and often does to many people. Several options for treatment include milk of magnesia, fleet enemas, Miralax, prune juice, mineral oil. Also, please drink plenty of water and consume a high fiber diet. Metamucil, Citrucel or Benefiber can also be helpful to treat and prevent constipation. If these treatments are not working, please call the office as soon as possible. Dr. Klause will commonly prescribe a stool softener to be used as needed for constipation after surgery.