Post operation advice from Consultant Surgeon Mr James Kirkby-Bott
Cholecystectomy Gallbladder Surgery:
Post Operation Advice
The following advice has been written by your gallbladder surgeon - Mr James Kirkby-Bott, with advice on helping with your recovery. Please read it and use the advice to help minimise discomfort and maximise your outcome.
How will you feel after gallbladder surgery?
The first 2-3 days are the worst in
terms of feeling discomfort, nausea, tiredness, a sore throat and generally not
feeling yourself. Gallbladder surgery and general anaesthetic are perceived by
your body as a trauma. This takes some time and patience to recover from.
Mr Kirkby-Bott says
“If I can offer any general advice it is
Try not to get
pre-occupied with how you feel or how you feel compared to what you have been
expecting. Instead try and go with the flow.
Give yourself a
period of rest time from work and activities.
As each day
passes try and increase your activity levels doing gentle exercise and keeping
moving around the house. Going for a walk might be pleasant, but don’t do
strenuous sports until you feel up to it.
unusual sensations are temporary and will improve as time goes by. Don’t be
distracted by feeling unwell.
Stay positive – doing things you enjoy for
your rest time will help you achieve this. It is OK to enjoy your recovery
time. After all you’ve just had a big gallbladder operation and deserve the
The following advice is designed to make your
scar feel as close to invisible and normal, like before your gallbladder
surgery, as your body will allow. It will all heal well, but following this
advice will maximise the final outcome you have.
The four small wounds are covered in a
plaster and under this are small adhesive strips (called steristrips) that are
positioned to take tension off your wound edges. This helps neat healing and a
neat scar. Leave these on for 10 days. Underneath the skin is closed
with an absorbable stitch that doesn’t need removing.
It is OK to shower from the first morning
after gallbladder surgery.
No need to feel grungy or stinky! Keep
the dressing in place for 10 days and pat it dry when wet.
Make yourself comfortable.
If the dressing starts to come off, please
replace it with a fresh one. However, the fewer dressing changes the better for
avoiding wound infection.
You will have a bruise and maybe some mild
This happens to everyone. It will look reddy-brown
and be sore. This is normal healing, not a sign of a wound infection. Leave it
alone and don’t worry about it. It will disappear as a bruise usually does and
the swelling will go down with the bruise disappearing. This is often mistaken
for a wound infection. Infections take between 4-7 days to happen. Infections
make the wound red and angry with weeping and increasing pain. If this is what
you have noted call the hospital and ask for a wound review. If it is an
infection we can start a simple course of antibiotics.
From day 1 perform regular stretches
to the point of slight discomfort and continue at least daily, noting how the
range of movement changes each day.
After 10 days remove any dressings. It
will have healed by now. To help the scar heal as neatly as possible, continue
the stretches and start to apply a moisturizer (any that you would happily put
on your face is fine) twice a day to the whole of the front of your
wounds and rub firmly (to the point it is slightly uncomfortable). This will help keep tissue layers free and
ensure the area feels comfortable to move in the long term.
It takes a good 12 months for scars to fully heal and the tissues
to remodel. During this time don’t be surprised if the scar becomes raised or
coloured. Just perform the exercises above and wait. It will subside and become
less apparent as the remodelling continues.
Mr Kirkby-Bott always follows up gallbladder
cases. At this meeting we can:
Discuss the histology
or diagnosis from the resected specimen.
Review any blood
results taken and to ensure you have recovered as expected and to review
questions you have regarding your surgery, post surgery recovery and
anything else that will help you get the best outcome from your surgery.
We will then discharge your care back to your referring doctor.
it is up to you as to how much you follow this post-surgery advice and
information. Your recovery will be affected by how closely you follow this
reading this a couple of times you still have questions, please email them to
us prior to your surgery so we can answer them and make sure you are
comfortable with and understand what you are agreeing to and why.