The gallbladder is an organ that lies behind the liver in the upper-right portion of the abdomen. Its function is to store bile that is used to help the body digest food. When gallbladder problems, like gallstones, occur, it can cause pain, vomiting, and nausea. Sometimes it is necessary to remove the gallbladder. This surgery is called a cholecystectomy. If your parent will be having gallbladder surgery, it can be useful to know who to prepare for the surgery and what to expect afterward.
The first step in preparing for surgery is knowing which kind of gallbladder surgery the senior is having. There are two kinds:
Open Surgery: Open surgery is used under certain circumstances, such as when a person has a bleeding disorder, is obese, or has a severe gallbladder problem. The surgery involves making an incision in the abdomen that is between five and seven inches long.
Laparoscopic Surgery: The doctor might refer to this kind of surgery as “keyhole surgery.” It involves making four tiny cuts and using a tube with a mini camera to remove the gallbladder.The doctor will provide specific instruction to follow prior to the surgery.
In general, the senior will probably be instructed to:
Avoid Eating: The night before the surgery, the older adult will need to avoid food or drinks after a certain time of the night.
Stop Certain Medications: Make sure the doctor is aware of all the medications and supplements the senior takes. It may be necessary to stop taking some of them to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding.
Gallbladder Surgery Recovery
-How long it will take your aging relative to recover depends on the kind of surgery they have. If they have laparoscopic surgery, they will likely return home on the same day and recovery will take about two weeks. Open surgery generally requires a few days in the hospital and can take up to eight weeks for a full recovery.
-Regardless of the type of surgery the person is having, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a hospital stay since they are sometimes needed even after laparoscopic surgery. An elderly care provider can help the senior to pack a bag for the hospital. Transportation home from the hospital will also be needed, which an elderly care provider can also assist with.
-During the recovery period, an older adult may need assistance at home. An elderly care provider can help them by taking over basic household tasks, like tidying the house, cooking, and doing laundry. They can also help with pet care, like taking the dog outside or feeding and watering the pets. An elderly care provider can also remind your relative to take medications or follow other instructions given by the doctor.