Complications or Side Effects of Gallbladder Surgery

The patient recovers much faster after a laparoscopic surgery than after an open surgery.

Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Time

The patient recovers much faster after a laparoscopic surgery than after an open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is less painful and the patient can leave the hospital on the same day or the day after the surgery. He/she may proceed with their daily routine activities within a period of two weeks and may be able to do strenuous exercises after a month.

However, it takes a longer time to recover after an open cholecystectomy. Patients spend around 2 to 4 days or even longer in the hospital and it takes at least four to six weeks for the patients to get back to routine activities.

Gallbladder Surgery Complications

Both open and laparoscopic surgeries of the gallbladder are considered as relatively safe procedures. As can be expected, the overall risk associated with a laparoscopic surgery is much less in comparison to an open surgery.

The most common side effects following surgery are gas problems, indigestion, abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, especially after eating fatty and spicy food.

Gallbladder Surgery Abdominal Pain

Diarrhea following gall bladder surgery usually improves over time, but in very few cases may last for several years. Diet rich in fiber content is recommended in such cases.

More serious complications include-

  • Infection of the surgical incision or deeper tissues
  • Injury to surrounding structures like the common bile duct, small or large intestine during surgery. Injury to the common bile duct can result in bile leakage.
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Complications associated with the general anesthesia like blood clots in the legs or lungs, breathing or heart problems, pneumonia and drug reaction.


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