Exercise After Gallbladder Removal

Your doctor will help you determine a safe plan to return to exercise after gallbladder removal.
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The gallbladder is a 3- to 4-inch sac underneath the liver. Gallbladder stores a substance called bile that is secreted by the liver. Bile is used in the absorption of fats. Some people have gallstones that are clumps made mostly of cholesterol. These may cause painful symptoms and require removal of the gallbladder.


Removal Options

There are two options for gallbladder removal; a surgical procedure called cholecystectomy or less invasive laparoscopic surgery. The regular cholecystectomy is a major abdominal surgery involving an incision. Whereas the laparoscopic surgery is done by punching small holes, usually four, and the gallbladder is removed using tubes and instruments through those holes. The recovery from gallbladder removal depends on the surgical operation. Recovery from laparoscopic surgery is far faster than from the traditional cholecystectomy.


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Exercise After Surgery

Gallbladder removal, like any surgery, requires recovery time. Typical rest time after major abdominal surgery is six weeks, during which strenuous exercise should be avoided. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine after your gallbladder surgery. Every person recovers differently and what may be all right for one might not be recommended for another. Continue with the exercises that you did before the surgery; this is not the time to try any new exercises. The key is to listen to your body. Do what feels good and does not cause pain.


Exercise After Cholecystectomy

Start slowly, by walking several times a day with a low pace. This could be around the yard, block, or even just around your home. Increase the duration and pace every day, according to your body. Avoid strenuous activity, like moving, carrying or lifting heavy objects for 10 to 14 days, or as directed by your doctor. Slowly increase your activity and begin doing longer exercises with higher resistance. Your doctor will consult you on your six week follow-up, after which, you can usually start your regular exercises.


Exercise after Laparoscopic Surgery

Recovery from laparoscopic surgery is much faster and exercise can be continued sooner. Avoid heavy activity for the first 24 to 48 hours. However walking during this time is essential and you should get up and walk as much as you can. Start slowly and increase your activity according to your body. Usually you should avoid strenuous activity for three to five days, but this differs between persons and their underlying fitness. Wait until your follow-up, which should be seven to 14 days after your surgery, before returning to your typical pre-surgery activity.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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