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Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal: What to Expect


Prior to Surgery

  • Talk to your doctor about your child’s medications and vitamins. Some may need to be discontinued prior to surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that could impact surgery or anesthesia.
  • Blood samples are taken in case your child needs a blood transfusion.

Day of the Surgery

  • Do not allow your child to eat or drink after midnight on the evening prior to surgery.
  • You will receive a call from the hospital about arrival time.

After Surgery

  • Most children will be hospitalized for a few days.
  • Your child will return to a normal diet slowly and will begin with soft foods until the surgery heals.
  • There will be soreness around the surgical site during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery.
  • Your child may have some nausea and vomiting after surgery since the procedure was performed in the abdominal region. Your child will be encouraged to sip liquids to reduce these sensations.
  • Do not let your child bathe until the doctor says that it is okay. Sponge baths are recommended.
  • Walking is encouraged, based on his/her energy level.

Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks 

Most children will feel better within a week and will fully recover in two to three weeks.

Question & Answer

Below, find answers to commonly asked questions. Click each item to expand the Q&A for each section.

The Procedure

Q: What does the procedure involve?

A small telescope is inserted through the umbilicus (navel or belly button) and then, using several small instruments, the gallbladder can be freed from the liver and bile duct system, and removed. Most children begin eating the same day as the procedure and are discharged in less than 24 hours.


Q: How many incisions are made?

One incision is made in the abdomen.

Hospital Stay

Q: How long will my child stay in the hospital?

In most cases, a child is hospitalized for a day or less.

Recovery Time

Q: What is the recovery time?

Most children recover in two to three weeks.