Cholecystectomy can relieve the pain and discomfort of gallstones. Conservative treatments, such as dietary modifications, usually can't stop gallstones from recurring. Cholecystectomy is the only way to prevent gallstones.
Some people experience mild diarrhea after cholecystectomy, though this usually goes away with time. Most people won't experience digestive problems after cholecystectomy. Your gallbladder isn't essential to healthy digestion.
How quickly you can return to normal activities after cholecystectomy depends on which procedure your surgeon uses and your overall health. People undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy may be able to go back to work in a matter of days. Those undergoing open cholecystectomy may need a week or more to recover enough to return to work.
July 25, 2013
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed May 13, 2013.
- 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 May 13, 2013.
- Cholecystectomy. American College of Surgeons. http://www.facs.org/patienteducation/operations.html. Accessed May 13, 2013.
- Sauter GH, et al. Bowel habits and bile acid malabsorption in the months after cholecystectomy. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2002;97:1732.