Had your gall bladder out? What can my wife expect?

My wife has to go in on September 5th and have her gall bladder out. They’ve told her it’s an outpatient procedure now, and that it may take a week to recuperate.

I was wondering if anyone here has had the operation, and if you have any information I can pass on to her. Were you sore for a week? Did it leave a nasty scar? Did you have to take painkillers? Should she stay in bed? What amount of moving around is OK?

Stuff like that. Anything I can tell her to make it less scary and prepare her for what’s going to happen during and afterward will help a lot.


My wife had it. If it is an out patient procedure, it is probably been done laparoscopically, in which case, there are three very small scars, each less than an inch long. As I recall, they gave her some Vicodin afterwards, but she didn’t need it more than a day or two. She up and around very quickly.

The biggest adjustment was diet. She has to be careful about eating fried food, like fish and chips, she just can’t digest it very well. But she has no problem with other high fat foods like ice cream, so it is a hit or miss thing. Some people have no diet problems at all.

My wife had hers removed a few years ago. Pretty much everything the previous poster mentioned applied to my wife’s experience as well. I’ll second the point of avoiding greasy, fried foods for awhile afterwards, as my wife had a couple of serious stomach cramping and vomiting episodes that required ER visits within the first few months afterwards. Nothing conclusive as to the cause, but we suspect it was food choice that triggered them. Just go easy on the diet until her body adjusts.

Tell her to really take it easy after they send her home. A friend of mine had outpatient surgery for gallbladder like your wife. He felt so good, he started getting ready for a camping trip. After lifting a generator into his pickup, he went back to the emergency room.

Remember, its still abdominal surgery! Rest.

I had it and it was one of the easier surgeries that I have had. It was done laparoscopically and I was up and about the next day.

I am in a rush and my computer is sloooooow, but St. Germain recently posted a thread about this with lots of reassuring stories.

This is a previous post by me about my gallbladder removal:

I had mine out in April, and it was really a piece of cake. Although I had two big stones and a bunch of small ones imbedded in the organ wall, they were still able to do it laproscopically, although one of the holes had to be a bit larger to get the big stones out. I went in for same-day surgery, went to my mother’s that night (I live alone and she was worried) and got up and went home the next day and was able to take care of myself and my dogs and horses. Plus I took a week off work to baby myself, so it was like a mini-vacation with vicodin. (I only took the pain meds the first two days - after that I was fine) Truly the gallbladder attacks were worse than the surgery.

As for diet and bathroom habits, I haven’t noticied any changes. Less gas, maybe. (That’s verging on TMI for me).


I had mine removed three weeks ago. I was out of the hospital the next day, and back at work the next week. I was in some pain for a couple days there, but nothing that couldn’t be handled by a couple of vicodin. Don’t say anything funny around her for three or four days after the surgery, though. I had to ban one of my friends from visiting me while I was recuperating, because he’s just too damned funny, and laughing was agonizing.

Thanks for the comments, everyone, from both me and my wife. She’s less apprehensive about it now. It helps to hear that other people haven’t had much problem with it.

Fishbicycle - I was extremely apprehensive, because I’d never had so much as my tonsils out, and actually avoided doctors for years because of a real phobia. It truly was easy, though. The worst part was getting in and out of bed. Pulling yourself up with your abdominal muscles wasn’t the best thing. I slept on the couch for a few days so I could pretty much roll on and off. I laid in plenty of horse and dog feed so I wouldn’t have to lift heavy bags. I was sensible, but didn’t baby myself too much, because I think you feel better if you don’t act sick.

Good luck to your wife. Here’s hoping she bounces back quickly. And use this as an excuse for being a little extra nice. Everyone enjoys pampering every now and then.


Two close friends had the operation; one in the 80s and one last year. The one who had it in the 80s said it hurt more than childbirth. The one who had it last year said it was a piece of cake. Your wife can expect to recover quickly and with little discomfort. Good luck!

I did a search for previous threads before I had mine out two years ago. The best advice that was given was to sleep in the recliner for a couple of days. It really hurts to get up and down out of bed, and the recliner is much easier.

I haven’t had any issues on eating anything. In fact, I had a steak dinner two days after surgery!

Your wife will feel much better after the post-surgical pain goes away. Good luck to both of you!

It’s been just under two weeks since I had mine out. The surgery itself was nothing, you go to sleep, wake up and they give you a can of Sprite and you go home!

I stayed home from work for a week, mainly because I have a long commute and I wasn’t comfortable traveling in a car that much so soon after the surgery. After the first few days I had to be careful not to wander too far from a restroom immediately after eating. However, that only lasted a couple of days and now I’m eating whatever I want with no bowel or stomach issues at all. :slight_smile:

My dad had his out in May. He’s 75 and had high cholesterol before that, I don’t know if it makes a difference, but his bowels have not quite been cooperating since the operation. The doctor said it might take up to a year for his digestive tract to calm down. Is this true? Or is his doctor BSing him because they can’t explain why his bowels are acting up?

Hey! I didn’t get a can of sprite! Do over! :smiley:

Rubystreak - I don’t know an answer to that, except that does seem to take longer to heal and bounce back from surgery when you’re older.


For what its worth, I talked to many co-workers who had it done before me and there seemed to be two camps. Some said they always have to go immediately after eating (and these are people who had it done years ago) others told me they had no lasting issues at all. Thankfully I seem to be falling into that second group after only a few days worth of problems.

I had mine in an outpatient surgery center last December. It literally took only 20 minutes. It was pretty painful when I woke up from the anesthesia but the nurse advised us to stop at McDonald’s on the way home and get a vanilla milkshake and use that to take my pain pills. Later on, after I vomited up the milkshake, I felt fine.

The only time I had any issues with the surgery after that day was when I decided two days later that I could go grocery shopping with the family. That was a mistake. I smartened up fast after that and rested for the next week and have had no problems since.

I do have the ‘have to go NOW’ issue within an hour after I eat, but that’s manageable.

I hope things go as easily and well for your wife as they did for me!