Cholecystectomy for symptomatic cholelithiasis or cholecystitis
Gallbladder inflammation or painful gallstones requiring removal
EXPECTED LENGTH OF STAY: Laparoscopic 1-2 days; Open 3-7 days
Cholecystectomy is one of the most commonly performed surgeries. Over 90% of the time it is done laparoscopically.
Before surgery, a complete blood count (to assess for inflammation or infection) and liver function tests (to assess for inflammation of the liver) are obtained. A dose of prophylactic antibiotics is given prior to surgery. Oftentimes patients are able to be discharged home after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. If the procedure is done as an open cholecystectomy, patients will require hospital admission for several days until there is evidence of return of bowel function (passing flatus and stool).
Good pain control with oral pain medication and tolerating an oral diet without nausea.
QUESTION PROMPTS FOR THE DOCTOR:
LABS: Routine laboratory studies include a complete blood count (to assess for inflammation or infection) and liver function tests (to assess for liver injury).
RADIOLOGY EXAMS: An ultrasound of the right upper quadrant of the abdomen establishes the diagnosis of gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder wall.
MEDICATIONS: What are the risks for my antibiotics? How long do you expect I will need an IV? How long will I need to take the pills?
QUESTION PROMPTS FOR THE NURSE:
Will you be rounding on me hourly?
Will you do a bedside report at change of shift?
Ask them for the name of the medications, what they are for, and what the side effects are when they are brought to you.