Tips to Improve Sleep after Gallbladder Surgery?


Tips to Improve Sleep after Gallbladder Surgery?

The need for gallbladder surgery usually occurs in two major cases: gallstones and cancer. India tops the list of countries in the world with gallstone patients. Delhi has the highest number of gallbladder cancer cases, and states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Orissa, and West Bengal have leading reported cases of gallstones. It has also come to light that the cases of gallstones are 4.15% more in females than males. Once gallstones develop, they can become painful and cause health issues. In such a case, gallbladder stone surgery is required for gallstone removal.

Often, people may have trouble sleeping after gallbladder surgery. Not just gallstone surgery but any abdominal surgery can cause sleeping problems since lying down puts pressure on your stomach and abdominal area. This article has tips on ‘when can I sleep on stomach after gallbladder surgery’.

What is Cholecystectomy or Gallbladder Surgery?

The gallbladder is a small organ in the shape of pears. It is situated below the liver and above the abdomen. The gallbladder stores the bile juice produced by the liver, which helps in fat digestion.

Cholecystectomy is the surgery of gallbladder removal. There are two types of gallbladder surgery. It may be performed either through small incisions, known as laparoscopic gallbladder or through one large incision, known as open cholecystectomy. Depending on the overall health condition of the patient and the problem caused by the gallbladder, the type of treatment is proceeded with. Here are the common reasons for gallbladder surgery:

  • Cholelithiasis: A condition where the gallstones are formed and it starts causing health problems
  • Choledocholithiasis: Choledocholithiasis is a condition where gallstones form in the bile duct
  • Cholecystitis: Gallbladder inflammation is known as cholecystitis
  • Cancer: Gallbladder polyps, especially large ones, have risks of developing cancer. Some people may also develop the risk of gallbladder cancer and, thus, may suggest gallbladder removal surgery
  • Pancreatitis: A condition where the pancreas inflammation occurs due to gallstones

Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Tips

Surgery incision pumps air into the abdominal cavity to make the surgery procedure easier. Hence, once the anaesthesia effect starts fading, the air pressure may start causing pain. While such type of pain is normal, it can cause irritability, excessive bloating, and problems in lying down. Since sleeping is a quintessential part of recovery, you need proper sleep. 

Here are some tips on how to sleep after gallbladder surgery and how to sit up after gallbladder surgery:

Sleep on Your Back

Sleeping on your back can directly avoid pressure on your abdominal incisions. If you do not have a habit of sleeping on your back, the start may be a bit uncomfortable, but doing so will eventually relieve you from unnecessary pain.

Sleep on the Left Side

The incisions are made on the right side of your abdomen. So, avoid sleeping on the right side. If you cannot sleep on your back, it is best to sleep on your left side.

Pain Relievers

Your doctor may prescribe OTC pain relievers in case you experience unbearable pain. These oral medicines can help get a better sleep.

Enough Sleep

Enough sleep is important for anyone, especially for those in the surgery recovery phase. Gallbladder removal side effects can be more painful if you lack sleep. Keeping your bedroom clean and organised can help get better sleep.


Aromapathy for a peaceful environment cannot be overlooked. An oil diffuser can be used to diffuse your favourite aroma where you sleep. Although it may not directly speed up recovery, it can reduce your perception of pain and can be mentally relaxing.

How to Make Belly Bloating Go Away after Gallbladder Surgery?

Bloating is a common problem for many after gallbladder surgery. If you are wondering, “Why is my stomach bigger after gallbladder surgery?”, it is probably due to air pumped through incisions and gas. Here are some tips on how to make belly bloating go away after gallbladder surgery:

Regular Exercise

Your doctor may have prescribed you a few exercises that can help recovery and post-surgery bloating. Make sure you do these regularly until you have recovered.

Choose Light Meals

Heavy meals can add to the pressure, bloating, and indigestion as well. So, it is best to avoid heavy meals and go for healthy and light meals after surgery. 

Avoid Fatty Food

Meals rich in fat, like fatty meats, must be avoided. You may also want to avoid alcohol consumption until you have recovered. These food items and aerated drinks can add to gas build-up and bloating.

When to See a Doctor?

The aforementioned recovery procedures are normal after gallbladder surgery. However, if the conditions become serious, you must contact your doctor. Common serious side effects of gallbladder surgery where you must consult your doctor are:

  • Pus leakage from incisions that are yellow, green, or grey in colour
  • Fever above 100.4 F that continues for days
  • Foul smell from incisions
  • Persistent vomiting, dizziness, or extreme weakness.

How Long does Gallbladder Surgery Take?

A night before the surgery, your doctor may advise diet limitations. Before surgery begins, anaesthesia is given, and once the surgery is done, the patient is shifted to the general room for recovery from the effects of anaesthesia. The laparoscopic gallbladder surgery recovery time is less, and you may be discharged the same day or the following day. In case of an open cholecystectomy, you may be hospitalised for up to 2-4 days after surgery. 

So, the answer to the query “how long does gallbladder surgery take?” majorly depends on the type of surgery performed. For laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, the surgery time can be 45 minutes to 1 hour and for open cholecystectomy, the surgery time can be a few hours. The gallbladder surgery cost also varies depending on the type of surgery chosen.

Post-cholecystectomy Syndrome

Mostly, people do not experience the long-term effects of gallbladder removal. However, some may experience a few long-term problems known as post-cholecystectomy syndrome:

  • Intolerance of fatty foods
  • Digestion problems leading to diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • The feeling of stomach fullness
  • Jaundice.

Bottom Line

The leading cause of gallstones is inappropriate drinking water, especially those with high amounts of metal water pollution. Consumption of chickpeas is also related to gallstones. If you feel any sign indicating gallbladder complications, it is best to see a doctor immediately. To help you mitigate the gallbladder removal surgery cost or gallbladder stone treatment you may invest in a health insurance plan. For example Care Super Mediclaim covers expenses incurred towards gallbladder stone along with other named surgeries after a specific wait period. For comprehensive information, you can refer to the policy document or connect with our experts. With Care Health Insurance you have a financial cushion that keeps your hard-earned savings safe during a medical emergency.

>> Also Read: Kidney Stones: Know Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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