sleep after gallbladder surgery Arizona Premier Surgery

The gallbladder’s function is to store bile, an enzyme used in digesting fats. If it becomes diseased or injured, you may need surgery to remove it. A laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder is less invasive than an open surgery. Nevertheless, even after a laparoscopic gallbladder removal, you may have discomfort that can disrupt your sleep. Here is some guidance on how to sleep after gallbladder surgery.

4 Frequently Asked Questions About How To Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery

Sleep is essential to your recovery following laparoscopic gallbladder removal. There are healing processes that can only happen when your body is resting. Postoperative discomfort is normal and expected following any surgical procedure, but it can make it more difficult to get the sleep you need to recover. Here are some answers to questions you may have about sleeping after your gallbladder removal.

1. How Much Bed Rest Do You Need After Gallbladder Surgery?

The postsurgical recovery process is individual for every patient. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines you need to follow after your surgery.

One advantage of laparoscopic surgery is that the recovery time is typically shorter compared to traditional open surgery. Nevertheless, you will probably have to avoid work, school, or other strenuous activities for one to two weeks following the procedure.

During this time, you should sleep when you feel tired and avoid pushing yourself too hard. Instead, gradually ease your way back into activities based on the guidelines that your surgeon provides.

2. What Factors Can Make Sleeping After Gallbladder Surgery Difficult?

Laparoscopic gallbladder removal involves making several small incisions in your abdomen instead of the one large incision required for open gallbladder surgery. While this makes the laparoscopic procedure less invasive, you can still expect pain at the incision sites after the procedure once the anesthesia wears off. This discomfort can make figuring out how to sleep after gallbladder surgery challenging.

The gallbladder removal procedure, also known as a cholecystectomy, involves pumping your abdomen full of carbon dioxide gas. This creates more space within the abdomen to help your surgeon visualize and remove the gallbladder. Eventually, the CO2 gas dissipates, which can take a while after surgery. You may have uncomfortable bloating a few days after surgery, making sleeping more difficult.

3. Can You Sleep On Your Right Side After Gallbladder Surgery?

Many patients preparing for laparoscopic cholecystectomy ask, “Can I sleep on my side after gallbladder surgery?” Your hepatobiliary system, including the gallbladder, is on the right side of your body. This is where the laparoscopic incisions occur as well.

It is not a good idea to put pressure on your incisions as they are healing. Therefore, your surgeon may recommend avoiding sleeping on your right side following the procedure. You probably wouldn’t feel very comfortable trying to sleep on your right side anyway. Trying to rest your body weight on the incisions could aggravate your pain.

4. Should You Lie Flat After Gallbladder Surgery?

Lying flat on your back to sleep after gallbladder surgery avoids putting pressure on your incisions. Therefore, it may be the answer to how to sleep after gallbladder surgery. Not only is it safer, but you may find it more comfortable and helps you sleep better.

Nevertheless, some people are not comfortable lying on their backs and find that they cannot sleep this way. If you have difficulty sleeping while lying flat on your back, you can try sleeping on your left side so that you do not put pressure on the incisions.

Another option may be to purchase or rent an adjustable bed that allows you to raise the head of your bed to sleep on an incline. However, since the recovery from a laparoscopic gallbladder removal is typically short, buying or renting a hospital bed may be more trouble than it is worth. Sleeping in a recliner chair for the first couple of days after surgery allows you to lie on an incline and may be more practical than buying or renting a hospital bed.

4 Other Things You Can Do To Improve Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery

Now that you know how to sleep after gallbladder surgery as far as positioning goes, here are some things to help improve your sleep quality during recovery.

1. Prepare Your Recovery Room Beforehand

Before your procedure, decide where you will spend your recovery. Set up a bedside table with everything you may need, e.g., a reading lamp and phone charger within easy reach. It can be painful to get up and down after gallbladder surgery, so you don’t want to have to do this any more than necessary.

Take steps to minimize things that may disturb your sleep following the procedure. For example, if sunlight shines through your windows or the house is noisy during the day, you may consider investing in an eye mask or earplugs.

Aromatherapy may help you relax and sleep better. Try eucalyptus, chamomile, rosemary, or lavender in an essential oil diffuser.

2. Take Medications per Doctor’s Instructions

Your doctor may prescribe pain medication for you to take after your surgery. Follow the directions exactly when you take your medications. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter medications, such as anti-inflammatories or stool softeners. Your doctor is also likely to recommend medicine for bloating. Take these according to your doctor’s instructions if different from the information on the packaging.

3. Eat Light Meals

Avoid eating processed foods or fatty meats after your surgery. Stick to light meals that are easier to digest, such as broth with crackers.

4. Follow Your Postoperative Exercise Plan

You must give your body a chance to heal from surgery before any strenuous exercise. Otherwise, you could cause complications that increase your recovery time. However, your doctor may instruct you to take a brief daily walk during recovery to help prevent blood clots and reduce bloating.

Find Out How To Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery and More

When you have your laparoscopic cholecystectomy from Arizona Premier Surgery, we provide a detailed recovery plan that includes how to sleep after gallbladder surgery. Contact us for a surgical consultation.