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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
An open cholecystectomy is surgery to remove your gallbladder through an incision in your abdomen.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- 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 as directed:
You may need to return to have your stitches removed. Your healthcare provider will check your incision for signs of infection. If you have a drain, he will remove it. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Eat a variety of healthy foods:
This may help you have more energy and heal faster. Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have nausea and vomiting.
- You are constipated or urinate less than usual.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition, surgery, or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You feel full and cannot burp or vomit.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your incision is red, swollen, or has pus coming from it.
- Your stitches come apart.
- Your vomit is greenish, looks like coffee grounds, or has blood in it.
- Your abdomen is severely painful and swollen.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You feel lightheaded and have shortness of breath all of a sudden.
- You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may 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.