How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
To prepare for 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.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed May 13, 2013.
- 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 May 13, 2013.
- Cholecystectomy. American College of Surgeons. http://www.facs.org/patienteducation/operations.html. Accessed May 13, 2013.
- Sauter GH, et al. Bowel habits and bile acid malabsorption in the months after cholecystectomy. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2002;97:1732.