To prepare for a cholecystectomy, your surgeon may ask you to:
- Drink a solution to clean out your intestines. In the days before your procedure you may be given a prescription solution that flushes stool out of your intestines.
- Eat nothing the night before your surgery. You may drink a sip of water with your medications, but avoid eating and drinking at least four hours before your surgery.
- Stop taking certain medications and supplements. Tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you take. Continue taking most medications as prescribed. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications and supplements because they may increase your risk of bleeding.
Prepare for your recovery
Plan ahead for your recovery after surgery. For instance:
Plan for a hospital stay. Most people go home the same day of their cholecystectomy, but complications can occur that require one or more nights in the hospital. If the surgeon needs to make a long incision in your abdomen to remove your gallbladder, you may need to stay in the hospital longer.
It's not always possible to know ahead of time what procedure will be used. Plan ahead in case you need to stay in the hospital by bringing personal items, such as your toothbrush, comfortable clothing, and books or magazines to pass the time.
- Find someone to drive you home and stay with you. Ask a friend or family member to drive you home and stay close the first night after surgery.
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)