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Postoperative Symptoms, after-care, and return to routine activity after laparoscopic cholecystectomy


  • General Surgery


Document Type

Published Date

  • 2010


  • Surgeons are usually not involved in the postdischarge care of patients after uncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). The aim of this study was to document the the symptomatic recovery of patients following LC, because this has a bearing on the planning of a postoperative care package. METHODS: Consecutive patients undergoing uncomplicated LC were followed up by a weekly telephone questionnaire survey for 6 weeks. RESULTS: The study cohort comprised 102 patients who all completed the study. Postoperatively, only 2.9% of all patients had postoperative nausea/vomiting lasting greater than or equal too 2 days. Pain was symptomatic in 11.7% of patients. Port-site wounds were a source of significant symptoms in 70.5% of the patients. Postoperative review by a community nurse and primary-care doctor were necessary in 77.4% and 32% patients, respectively, with a combined average of 3.1 reviews per patient. Less than 4% of patients believed that they would benefit from a surgeon's review 6 weeks after LC. Median time taken to return to routine preoperative activity after surgery was 22 days (IQR, 17 to 34), which was affected by the degree of activity undertaken, wound-related symptoms persisting for greater than or equal to 3, planned follow-up clinic appointment, and discharge as an outpatient. CONCLUSION: Wound-related symptoms are common after LC, require substantial input from the community health service in their management, and may delay return to preoperative routine.
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