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Post-Operative Instructions After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

  1. The patient may resume a regular diet as soon as tolerated. Small frequent meals, to begin with may be tolerated easier in the early post-operative stage. Increase at your own pace. No diet restrictions apply related to removal of the gall bladder.

  2. The patient may experience either constipation or diarrhea after surgery and this may be caused by anesthesia, pain medications or reaction to surgery. This is not uncommon. The patient may take any over the counter medication(s) that have worked previously to correct the situation of diarrhea or constipation. Suggestions are: Milk of Magnesia, Dulcolax tablets or suppositories as directed for constipation. Also increasing fluids such as water, juices, etc. will help with elimination. Suggestions for diarrhea include Pepto-Bismol and Imodium AD as directed for diarrhea. Also drinking Gatorade and BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) may help to alleviate and correct some of the side effects of diarrhea.

  3. The patient may shower 48 hours after surgery. The patient may remove the band-aids, if desired, or if the band-aids are soiled with drainage or wet from showers. These can be replaced if the patient desires or left off. This is strictly the choice of the patient. Suggestion: Some patients state a light dressing or band-aid at the naval incision seems to be more comfortable if the clothing at the waistband rubs or irritates. If the patient observes Steri-Strips (small strips of textured adhesive tape) at incisions or over sutures please leave intact. The patient may get them wet in the shower and pat dry. The sutures (if the patient has sutures) should be left intact.

  4. The patient needs to call the office for a post-operative appointment (569-6840). The patient will need to be seen in the office 1-2 weeks after the surgery date. Please call ahead for appointment.

  5. The patient will have no restrictions to physical activities, however the patient should listen to their body in response to certain activities. Gradually increase activities at a comfortable and individual pace.

  6. The patient may resume driving when not taking pain medication, which may impair judgment and response during driving. The patient should also feel capable of having physical strength and capability to respond quickly to any situation that may occur while driving.

  7. The patient may use ice to incisional sites post-operatively to decrease pain and/or swelling days 1 and 2. A heating pad under the right shoulder area may also be helpful to decrease any dull ache or pain in that area which is not uncommon.

  8. The patient may experience some drainage from the incisions, which is not uncommon. If patient experiences a small amount of bloody drainage, ice to the area should alleviate this. Any other drainage may be due to normal body response, which a light dressing can be applied and changed as needed. The patient may also experience slight redness at incision ends where a suture may be noted. These areas can be cleaned a few times per day with hydrogen Peroxide and a Q-Tip. Bruising at these sites is not uncommon.

  9. Please contact the office should you develop any problems such as prolonged nausea/vomiting, temperature elevations above 101.5 or other difficulties.
*These recommendations are suggested for otherwise healthy post-operative patient without underlying health problems. Please call if there are any concerns or questions.

West County Surgical Specialists
At West County Surgical Center we are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of health issues. We specialize in the following

West County Surgical Specialists
621 S. New Ballas Road
Suite 7011B (Tower B)
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone (314) 251-6840
Fax (314) 251-7347

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