A cholecystectomy can relieve the pain and discomfort of gallstones. Conservative treatments, such as dietary modifications, usually can't stop gallstones from recurring. A cholecystectomy is the only way to prevent gallstones.
Most people won't experience digestive problems after a cholecystectomy. Your gallbladder isn't essential to healthy digestion. Some people may experience occasional loose stool after the procedure, which generally resolves over time. Discuss with your doctor any changes in your bowel habits or new symptoms following your procedure.
How quickly you can return to normal activities after a cholecystectomy depends on which procedure your surgeon uses and your overall health. People undergoing a laparoscopic cholecystectomy may be able to go back to work in a matter of days. Those undergoing an open cholecystectomy may need a week or more to recover enough to return to work.
Oct. 21, 2016
- Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/gallstones/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed June 15, 2016.
- Understanding gallstones. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/info_for_patients/2013/6/6/understanding-gallstones. Accessed June 15, 2016.
- Feldman M, et al. Gallstone disease. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Patient information for laparoscopic gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) from SAGES. Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. http://www.sages.org/publications/patient-information/patient-information-for-laparoscopic-gallbladder-removal-cholecystectomy-from-sages. Accessed June 15, 2016.
- Feldman M, et al. Gallstone disease. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal Cholecystectomy. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/education/patient-education/patient-resources/operations. Accessed June 15, 2016.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 22, 2016.
Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)