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Gallbladder stone surgery: Know what happens before, during and after surgery

Gallbladder stone surgery is a very commonly done surgery. Except in rare circumstances, it is done by the laparoscopic method, means by a minimally invasive method. As a doctor, I understand that however common or routine a surgery is, anybody who is about to undergo the surgery always have their apprehensions. And I have learned from my patients, that knowing exactly what and how things are going to progress, surely deceases this anxiety. Hence this exercise is to let the patients awaiting surgery, walk through the whole process form the surgeon's view.

Once a decision is made regarding your Gallbladder stone surgery, its date and time, the surgical team contacts the Operation Theatre in charge to fix the timing of surgery. The OT in charge also updates the anaesthetist doctor regarding the date and time of surgery. The surgeon will also give a call to the anaesthetist to discuss what surgery is planned, what is expected during the surgery. The anaesthetist would like to know at this stage whether the patient is having any medication condition, which would need further investigation or optimization with medications prior to surgery. In a situation where such is the case, your surgeon will advise you to do so and that may need to delay the surgery if needed.

The OT in charge will make sure that the instruments are properly sterilized prior to your surgery, all the devices are working properly and all the materials needed for surgery are available in the OT during the surgery.

What happens when you get admitted

Recovery: Initial few hours

Once you are reasonably awake you would be shifted back to your room. You would be allowed to rest for a couple of hours. On duty, the doctor will be there in case you need any help. After 2 hours, the staff will check your pulse, BP, and oxygen levels. And once they make sure you are well awake, you would be advised to sit. Gradually, as you feel comfortable water and then other liquids will be started orally. You would be advised to get out of bed, walk a few steps in the room under the observation of staff. At his point in time, all the IV drip and medications are stopped. 

Once all this goes well, you would be advised to go to the washroom and pass urine. Initially, there may be a little bit of pain, but that reduces once you start moving around. In case the pain is more, further medications will be given by the doctor after a telephonic talk with your surgeon. All the medications are given orally once liquids are started and you do not have vomiting. Even if all is well, your progress will be updated to your surgeon by the on-duty doctor.

Further recovery and discharge

After about 4-5 hours of surgery, once you have tolerated liquids, a soft diet will be started. The surgeon also will make a visit to ensure all is processing well. Any of your apprehensions about going home will be addressed by him during this visit. You can have a shower the next morning, as the bandages are wash-proof.

Ready for discharge

Once you are relatively pain-free, tolerating liquids and food, have passed urine, you are ready for discharge. The discharge can be done on the same day for young patients with no other medical problems and coming from the same city. For all the rest, discharge is generally done the next day of surgery.

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Follow up visit at the clinic after Gallbladder stone surgery

You will be called for a follow-up visit in a couple of days after discharge. The main aim is to ensure that you are doing well and check your wounds. The surgeon will check your wounds, clean it, and reapply the bandages. He will discuss regarding your diet and resuming of activities after surgery. Any other questions of yours would be answered at this time.

Generally, you can resume a normal diet after a couple of days. A normal healthy diet is what you need. Unless your diet needs to be changed due to any other medical condition. The bandages are now to be removed by yourself, at home while bathing after 5 days. If for any specific reason, your wounds need to be rechecked, then your surgeon would specify.

You also need to collect your biopsy report from the hospital. Generally, it will be available in 5-7 days post-surgery. The next visit would be a month later, just to make sure you are doing well. In between if you any issues you can schedule an appointment as per need.

ADROIT Centre for Digestive and Obesity surgery is performing all kinds of the gallbladder and other advanced laparoscopic surgery routinely. Our outcomes are par with international standards and our patient satisfaction level is great. This the reason why Dr Chirag Thakkar is rated amongst the best doctors for gallbladder stone treatment by our patients. Click the below links to listen to our patient’s feedback.

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