Discharge Instructions for Gallbladder Cancer Surgery

You have had surgery for gallbladder cancer. There are different surgeries for treating cancer of the gallbladder. Your surgery may have been fairly simple or quite involved. Your recovery will depend on many factors, including the stage of the cancer, the type of surgery, your age, and your overall health. Be sure to follow any instructions given to you by your healthcare provider. 

Make sure you:

  • Know what activities you can and cannot do

  • Keep your follow-up appointments

  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any questions or are concerned about any problems you're having


You may have to limit some activities for awhile after surgery. You may need extra rest throughout the day. But try to get up and move around as you are able. Ask family members or friends to help with shopping, meals, housework, and other tasks. Talk with your nurses or other hospital staff about getting extra help through a home healthcare agency, if needed. 

Make sure you know: 

  • When you can use stairs. Go slowly and pause after every few steps. Have someone with you at first and until you feel steady.

  • Whether you can lift heavy objects.

  • When you can start driving. Don't drive if you are taking pain or other medicine that causes drowsiness. 

  • When you can do house or yard work or return to your job. 

A key part of healing and preventing problems is being able to move around and take deep breaths. If pain is a problem, let your healthcare provider know right away.

Other home care

To help with your recovery and avoid problems, you should:

  • Take only those medicines prescribed by your healthcare provider. This includes over-the-counter medicines. 

  • Take pain medicine exactly as directed.

  • Keep up the coughing and deep-breathing exercises that you learned in the hospital.

  • Have a healthy diet. Follow any diet instructions from your healthcare provider or nurses.

  • Talk with your healthcare provider or nurse about taking care of any incisions. They may recommend home healthcare.

  • Talk to your healthcare provider or nurse about managing any bandages you may have.

  • Know when you can shower or take a bath.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your healthcare provider. You may need more cancer treatment after surgery.

Call 911

Call 911 if you have:

  • Chest pain

  • Trouble breathing

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Chills

  • Cough

  • Increased redness, swelling, pain, or drainage near your incision

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Dark or rust-colored urine

  • Trouble urinating

  • Stool that is clay-colored or light in color instead of brown

  • Trouble with bowel movements (constipation)

  • Increasing pain in your belly

  • Bloating of your belly

  • Pain or tenderness in your legs

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