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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is surgery to remove your gallbladder.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine helps decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- NSAIDs decrease swelling and pain. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider 2 weeks after surgery, or as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care for your surgical wounds as directed. Keep the wounds clean and dry. You may take a shower the day after your surgery.
What to eat after surgery:
Eat low-fat foods for 4 to 6 weeks while your body learns to digest fat without a gallbladder. Slowly increase the amount of fat that you eat. Drink plenty of liquids. Ask how much liquid to drink and which liquids are best for you.
When to return to work and other activities:
You may return to work or other activities as soon as your pain is controlled and you feel comfortable. For many people, this is 5 to 7 days after surgery.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever over 101°F (38°C) or chills.
- You have pain or nausea that is not relieved by medicine.
- You have redness and swelling around your incisions, or blood or pus is leaking from your incisions.
- You are constipated or have diarrhea.
- Your skin or eyes are yellow, or your bowel movements are pale.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery, condition, or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You cannot stop vomiting.
- Your bowel movements are black or bloody.
- You have pain in your abdomen and it is swollen or hard.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.