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

Recommendations for home care include the following: 

  • Ask someone to drive you to your appointments for the next 3 days. Don’t drive until you are no longer taking pain medicine 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 healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Yellowing of your eyes or skin (jaundice)

  • Chills

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider 

  • 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 belly pain

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Leg swelling or shortness of breath