What is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the removal of the gallbladder using minimally invasive techniques. It is performed through several (usually 4) small incisions, rather than through one large incision.
What are Some Side Effects I may Experience after the Surgery?
Some possible side effects that may be experienced after surgery are:
- Superficial wound infection
- Loose stools or bloatedness
Some patients experience loose stools and bloating after the surgery, especially after taking fatty food. This usually improves and resolves after a few weeks.
The gallbladder is not an essential digestive organ and its removal does not carry significant long-term side effects.
What Should I Take Note of After the Surgery?
The following instructions provide general information and advice regarding care after the procedure. Taking these precautions may help to reduce risks and complications.
- You may wish to avoid fatty food and over-eating for the first few days after surgery, especially if you experience loose stools or bloatedness after meals.
- You are encouraged to consume more vegetables and fruits.
- You may shower the next day after your surgery, as the dressing is waterproof.
- You may remove the dressing of the wound(s) after a couple of days. It is perfectly safe to leave the wound(s) exposed and to wash it with soap and clean running water.
- Observe the wound(s) for any signs of infection, which include redness, swelling, pain, tenderness and discharge from the wound. Mild redness and pain at the wound sites are expected post-operation. However if it is persistent and progressive, or if there is any discharge from the wound, you are advised to seek medical attention immediately.
- In most cases, the skin stitches used are absorbable and do not need to be removed. Otherwise, you will be advised accordingly if your stitches require removal. If in doubt, check with the medical team prior to discharge.
- An appointment will be given to you to return for a follow-up consultation.
- Wound pain is usually mild and can be relieved with the prescribed painkillers. Do take your pain medications as prescribed.
- Please stop taking the medication if you experience signs of allergic reaction (skin rashes, breathing difficulty, swollen eyes / lips / face). Seek medical attention from your general practitioner / Emergency Department if you experience any of these side effects.
- If wound pain is tolerable, it is advisable to maintain a comfortable level of physical activity after returning home. This may include, brisk walking or light household chores.
- It is not advisable to engage in strenuous exercise or lifting of heavy objects in the first 3 – 4 weeks after surgery.
When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
You should seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- Fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius
- Severe pain and redness at the wound(s)
- Discharge from the incision site, such as pus or excessive bleeding
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin)
- Severe abdominal pain and bloating
Where can I Seek Medical Attention?
- You may call TTSH General Surgery Specialist Clinic during office hours* at 63578008, 63578009 or 63578385 to schedule an earlier appointment with your surgeon.
- After office hours, you are advised to seek treatment at the Emergency Department, Basement 1, TTSH.
- You may also wish to proceed to your nearest Polyclinic or family doctor.
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