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Discharge Instructions for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

You have had a procedure known as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a procedure to remove your gallbladder. People who have this procedure usually recover more quickly and have less pain than with open gallbladder surgery (called open cholecystectomy). There is no need for a special diet after this surgery.

You can live a full and healthy life without your gallbladder. This includes eating the foods and doing the things you enjoyed before your gallbladder problems started.

Home Care

  • Ask someone to drive you to your appointments for the next 3 days. Don’t drive until you are no longer taking pain medication.

  • Wash the skin around your incision daily with mild soap and water. It's okay to shower the day after your surgery.

  • Eat your regular diet. It is wise to stay away from rich, greasy, or spicy food for a few days.

  • Remember, it takes about 1 week for you to get most of your strength and energy back.

  • Make an office visit to talk to your doctor if the following symptoms don’t go away within a week after your surgery:

    • Fatigue

    • Pain around the incision

    • Diarrhea or constipation

    • Loss of appetite

  • Don't be alarmed if you have discomfort in your shoulder and chest for up to 48 hours after surgery. This is caused by carbon dioxide (gas) used during the operation. The discomfort will go away.


  • Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.


When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Yellowing of your eyes or skin (jaundice)

  • Chills

  • Fever above 100.0°F

  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, pus, or a foul smell at the incision site

  • Dark or rust-colored urine

  • Stool that is clay-colored or light in color instead of brown

  • Increasing abdominal pain


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