A blog about my recent gallbladder removal, surgery and recovery. The audience of this blog is those who are going through or are about to go through this experience. Please feel free to ask questions and I would be happy to answer whatever I can.

I recommend starting with the first post and working your way forward in time for the complete picture!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Week After Surgery: Doctor Visit, Stitches, Glue and the Green Light

The roughest days were the first 3-5 days after surgery. Around day 3-4 I was able to start sleeping again, and things continued to improve on a daily basis. I would experience different pains in different areas on a daily basis, and I think this is a natural part of the healing process.

After 5 days, I noticed a marked improvement. My belly button was still tender, especially when I was now going back to work and required to sit for long periods of time. If I touched the incision areas they were still a little sore, but not too bad. I had various aches and soreness coming from inside, all over the liver area. I had envisioned all of the pain would focus on the exact location of the gallbladder, but that was not the case.

I felt dull aches all the way down by my hip and to the top of my liver area, and some around the side in the middle going towards the kidney. I have no idea what it all means really, but the good news is that in time this goes away (at least for me it did), but one week in there were random aches in there. Nothing terrible, just discomfort and healing taking place. I partially wondered if it's the body's confusion, trying to send messages to an organ that no longer exists, or if the surgery really was spread over a larger area than I imagined.

I went to the doctor and he asked me how I felt. He said "85% right, like I said you would be after one week?". In truth, I was feeling about 70%, but that was close enough for me so I just nodded in agreement.

The doctor quickly peeled off my "paper stitches" and they came off pretty easily. He then used a cotton ball with alcohol to clean off some of the dirt that had stuck to the paper stitches area - again, painless. He told me to apply vaseline to my belly button and the incision sites and over a few days that would remove the hardened surgical glue that was on the wounds. Sounded crazy, but I tried it and it worked very well. Within a day or two all of the glue had come off of the incision marks, and the glue in the navel slid right out as one piece on day 3-4. Now I was feeling clean, no more annoying hard glue on my torso.

The doctor essentially told me to call him if I had a problem, otherwise I was good to go.

Around this time my diet had opened up entirely to what it had been before the surgery, which is a Paleo/Primal approach (lots of foods high in healthy fats), and no real issues from that. My diarrhea was long gone, the CO2 gas issues had subsided, and all that was left was the dull aches inside from the healing process.

I was looking forward to week 2, and in all honesty, week 2 was MUCH better than week 1 ...


  1. Thank you so much for this article. I just had the same surgery 2 days ago and am having the same symptoms you described. I haven't been able to really sleep either but your article gives me hope that I will get there in a day or so. There really isn't a way to get comfortable enough to sleep more than 2-3hours at a time right now.

    1. So true itz 3:45 and I am wide awake on the 2nd day of my gallbladder surgery didn't realize the pain that was caused by this organ. Just healing slowing and so ready to put this experience behind me 8/15

  2. Thank you so much for this positive posting. I am day 5 post op and worried about being able to return to my paleo diet I followed presurgery. So glad to hear this was no problem by week 2!! This is so helpful to have a no gloom and doom account of what happened.

  3. Thank you for this helpful account. So great to have something that is not gloom and doom. I am also very relieved to hear you were able to return to your paleo diet so quickly. I am day 5 and still having tummy troubles but glad to hear by week 2 you could return to this as it was a concern of mine.

  4. I really appreciate this blog! There is so much negative stuff out there on the internet in terms of gallbladder removal recovery. I am on day 4 of recovery and I am feeling a bit better each day.

  5. Thankyou. Im on day 7 after op, got hosp app this afternoon to snip a few stitches, although they are dissolvable they tried a new thing of putting a loop at the end. My diet has improved and still feel a few aches and pains especially if i do the hoovering and mopping. Too soon i guess.

  6. Thanks for your blog. I had my gallbladder removed 2 days ago (so this is day 3). I'm feeling very thankful that my pain is very minimal and mostly limited to soreness when I try to use my abs in getting up and down from seated and prostrate positions. It does hurt a bit if I cough or sneeze, but that's to be expected. Should the recovery continue at this pace, I will probably go to work as normal on Monday since I have an office job.
    The first night following my surgery I slept for about 3 hours, was up for an hour, and then slept another 4 hours. I thought that was pretty good. Last night was my first night home and I slept about 7 hours and I've taken several small naps/rests throughout the day to let my body heal. I'm easing back into eating after the clear liquid diet the hospital recommended and am choosing smaller healthy meals. It all seems logical, but I'm really glad to read how others have survived. Again, thank you. It's nice to not feel alone.