Frequently asked questions
How do I prepare for surgery?
Smoking and alcohol should be avoided in the days preceding your surgery. The night before you can have a light meal. Drinking is allowed until the midnight if you are having surgery in the morning. If your surgery is scheduled after 13:00, you are allowed to drink until 7 o'clock of the same day. If you are taking regular medications, your surgeon should give you instructions during your consultation.
How long will my surgery take?
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy takes an average of 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour, however these times may vary.
What complications can occur after my operation?
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a very low risk procedure, however possible complications can include bleeding, wound infection (which will require you to take a course of antibiotics), leakage of bile from where the gallbladder is removed, damage to adjacent intestine, hernias of the abdominal wall, blood cloth.
Will I be in much pain?
Laparoscopic surgery has the advantage of a reduced pain compared to traditional open surgery. Discomfort where the small cuts are is common but it is well controlled with painkillers.
Will I be able to go home the same day?
Yes, if your clinical and social conditions will allow you to be discharged.
When will I be able to go back to work?
Work can be resumed as soon as you feel well enough, however it also depend on how physically demanding is your job. A period of two weeks of rest is usually recommended.
Can I drive after surgery?
Driving is forbidden for at least 24 hours after surgery (mostly due to general anesthetic) and strongly discouraged for one week. You can go back to driving as long as you will be able to make an emergency break if needed. It's also advisable to check with your own car insurance if any restrictions apply.
Can I travel after surgery?
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is not a contraindications to traveling, however it is advisable to avoid traveling for at least two weeks. After this period, the risk of developing a complication from surgery is very minimal.
When should I call my doctor after surgery?
You should immediately get in touch with your surgeon if
- you have persistent high fever
- persistent nausea or vomiting
- increasing abdominal swelling
- severe abdominal pain
- you are unable to eat or drink
- purulent discharge from one of the incisions
- persistent cough or shortness of breath
- pain that is not relieved by your medications