Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is surgical removal of the gall bladder using telescopes which are placed through several small incisions in the navel and along the lower edge of the rib cage. When this way of removing the gall bladder became popular in the 1990's, surgical lasers were used; however, with refinements in the technique it is now safer to perform this surgery without the laser. This procedure is mostly commonly performed for symptomatic gall stones or biliary dyskinesia. Your surgeon, in consultation with you and your primary care physician, will decide if it is best done as an outpatient or 23 hour observation procedure.
As with any operation, there are possible complications which may result during the time of surgery. Your risk with anesthesia may be increased by any other illnesses or diseases that you have or medications that you are taking. Below are listed the most common, but not all possible, complications associated with this operation.
1. Your surgeon has written a prescription for a narcotic for your child. Tylenol or Ibuprofen may be all that your child requires for pain relief, but if he/she needs something stronger, you may use the prescription medication.
2. Your child may have a fever as high as 104˚ the evening following surgery; it is usually gone by 36 hours after the surgery. You may use Tylenol or Ibuprofen according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for your child’s age, which are printed on the bottle.
3. You may remove the bandage on the navel 24 hours after the surgery.
4. After removing the bandage, mix hydrogen peroxide half and half with water and pour one teaspoon of the mixture into the navel three times a day, every day until it doesn’t bubble when you pour it in; this is usually about seven days. After the peroxide bubbles up, you may blot it off with a Kleenex or washcloth or the child may take a shower to rinse it off.
5. Your child may walk around outside and climb stairs, but he/she will walk around for 10–15 minutes, and then, he/she will be worn out and will have to sit down or lay down to rest. It takes most children five to seven days to get their energy and exercise tolerance back. Don’t go to the mall, because he/she will feel exhausted after about 15 minutes.
6. Your child may return to school five to seven days after the date of his/her surgery.
7. It usually takes about a week for your child’s appetite to return to normal. For the first several days, he/she may not want to eat any solid food or may feel full after only two or three bites. Drinking enough liquids to prevent dehydration is important; his/her appetite will return in time.
8. Things to watch for are: Signs of infection: (a) if rather than feeling better and better each day, your child is hurting more and more; b) if your child starts to run a fever higher than 100.6º; or c) one of the incisions starts to look bright red. If any of these occur, you should call the office during office hours.
Abdominal pain that is steadily getting worse each day after surgery may be a sign of bleeding or bile leakage. If this occurs, you should call the office immediately.
Postoperative Check: Your surgeon will want to see your child following surgery. If you have not already arranged a follow-up appointment, please call our office to do so, the afternoon after surgery or the following morning. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call our main office number at (423) 267-0466.