Preparing for Your Gallbladder Surgery

Preparing for Your Gallbladder Surgery

Did you know that one of the most common surgeries in the United States involves removing the gallbladder? 

Your gallbladder sits below your liver and stores bile, which helps your body digest fat. If bile gets trapped in the gallbladder, this can cause infection and inflammation. In most cases, blockages occur because of gallstones, which are hardened bits of bile in the gallbladder. However, you can have gallbladder disease without stones present.

Few people know what this small, pear-shaped organ does, because it usually does its job without causing problems. However, if injury or gallbladder disease sets in, you can experience intense and uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain, nausea, and vomiting. When this occurs, removing the gallbladder is often the best option. 

Fortunately, you can live a long and healthy life without your gallbladder. And, since gallbladder surgery is performed using minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques, less pain and less risk is involved, and less time is required for recovery.

Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, at Surgical Associates of North Texas is a top-ranked general surgeon in McKinney, Texas. He uses the most advanced treatment options at his practice to address numerous conditions, including gallbladder disease.

If you need gallbladder surgery, Dr. deVilleneuve explains what you need to do to prepare for your procedure.

Schedule a pre-op visit

This appointment takes place before your surgery, so Dr. deVilleneuve can clearly explain your procedure and what to expect. He also performs a physical examination and health screenings, such as blood work and urine tests, to ensure you’re a good candidate for surgery.

Dr. deVilleneuve also provides detailed instructions on how to prepare for your procedure, so you don't face any surprises along the way. 

Modify your medications

During your pre-op visit, share a list of any medications, vitamins, or supplements you take. Even over-the-counter options can interfere with your procedure.

Dr. deVilleneuve can recommend which medications you can safely take and which you should temporarily discontinue using and when. For example, you often need to stop drugs that thin your blood, such as Coumadin®, for several weeks before having surgery.

Get guidance on eating and drinking

Undergoing surgery, even a minimally invasive procedure, usually means no food or drink for anywhere from 8-12 hours beforehand

Having food in your stomach when you have surgery can cause several problems, such as:

That means no sips or snacks unless you want to cancel or postpone your surgery.

Bring the right things

Our team will provide a hospital gown for you to wear for your procedure. However, you should bring loose, comfortable clothes to wear when you go home.

In addition to comfortable clothes, we also recommend bringing the following items:

Also, don’t forget to bring a helper to drive you home after your procedure. And ideally, their job won’t end there. We suggest having someone stay with you the first night just in case you need assistance or complications arise.

Make healthy lifestyle changes

People can’t always plan ahead for gallbladder surgery. But, when you can, we recommend making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes as far in advance as possible. 

The sooner you adopt a healthy diet and active lifestyle, the easier it will be to maintain as a new lifelong habit after surgery. Similarly, if you smoke, try to quit or at least cut back. Smoking can cause serious complications during and after surgical procedures, such as:

Tobacco use also increases your risk of developing an infection, and it can also interfere with the healing process.

Do you need gallbladder surgery? We can give you the help you need. To learn more, call 972-947-2264 or book an appointment online with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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