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). Many surgeons recommend a low-fat diet, avoiding fried food in particular, for the first month after 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 and are able to step on the brake pedal without hesitation. 

  • Wash the skin around your incision daily with mild soap and water. It's OK 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 at least 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


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 101.5°F or 38.5°C  

  • 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