How To Sleep After Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

4 min read

If you are suffering from gallbladder pain, you will know the pain can be excruciating. Is it possible to get a good night’s rest after having your gallbladder removed? How do I need to sleep?

You will need to sleep on your back; it is possible to sleep on your left-hand side opposite the surgical site. Sleeping on your back can be comfortable if you use pillows under your knees to remove pressure from your back, stomach, and pelvis.

Sleeping after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery can be challenging due to discomfort and the need to follow specific post-surgery instructions. Here are a few strategies that may help you get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions: Your provider will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself after surgery, including recommendations for sleep. Follow these instructions closely.
  2. Take your medications as directed: Some medications, such as painkillers, can interfere with sleep. Talk to your provider about any concerns you have with your medications and their potential impact on your sleep.
  3. Create a comfortable sleep environment: A cool and dark room, a comfortable bed, and minimal noise can all help you get a better night’s sleep.
  4. Engage in relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation may help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
  5. Avoid screens before bed: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep. Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed.
  6. Consider talking to a healthcare provider: If you are having persistent difficulty sleeping after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, a healthcare provider may be able to offer additional guidance and support.

How should you sleep after gallbladder surgery?

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Gallbladder disease is a painful experience and, if not addressed by surgery, can lead to some severe complications, so surgery is often the only option.

Directly after gallbladder surgery, you will sleep in an elevated position to allow fluids to drain and reduce swelling from the incision in the right-hand side of your chest.

After 48 hours of initial recovery, you can sleep flat on your back if you wish. Sleeping on your right side is prohibited for at least 4 weeks after surgery. It would be almost impossible to sleep on your right-hand side after surgery and the recovery period due to pain.

How to sleep after gallbladder surgery is quite restrictive, so you need to do your best to make yourself comfortable.

Use decent soft, supportive pillows to rest your head and neck on. Poor pillows will make you agitated and restless so invest in decent pillows.

Pillows are not just for your head! Place two soft, comfortable pillows under your knees. This pushes the small of your back into the mattress, reducing muscle stress and the need to move around.

If you move around when you sleep like most folks, place pillows around your body to prevent you from inadvertently rolling onto your side.

Can you sleep on your stomach after gallbladder surgery?

Sleeping on your stomach will be prohibited, so don’t be tempted to try. The pain will increase, and you will place undue pressure on sutured bile ducts which could cause damage.

How long after gallbladder surgery can you sleep on your right side?

After 48 hours, you will be allowed to sleep on your back only. Sleeping on your side will be prohibited for 4 weeks after the surgery.

Your doctor may allow you to sleep on your left-hand side a week or so after surgery if it feels comfortable to do so.

Sleeping on your right-hand side would be incredibly painful and unnecessary to get a good night’s sleep. 

Doctors understand that after surgery with a general anesthetic, you may not be able to sleep due to psychological stress manifesting itself in the form of insomnia.

Resist napping in the day if possible. A good night’s sleep will have more benefits to your healing process than five short naps during the day. If this is the case with you, set yourself up to sleep at your normal bedtime.

How to sleep after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is slightly different from conventional gallbladder surgery. Small incisions are made in the tors, and the laparoscopy and tools to perform the surgery are inserted via the tubes.

Your gallbladder can be extracted through a small incision, and the stables and sutures to the bile ducts are conducted without the need for a large incision.

Laparoscopic surgery is preferred because it gives the patient a shorter recovery period. However, the restrictions for sleeping are the same as conventional surgery.

After 48 hours of sleeping in an inclined position, you will be allowed to lay flat on your back to sleep.

After two weeks, you will be able to sleep on your left-hand side or your back which makes for a better night’s rest that will increase the speed of your recovery.

The best way to find a way of sleeping after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is to use pillows for support and comfort.

The wounds are still painful eleven if they are small incisions, so you will need to not place the incisions under any pressure directly or from stretching.

Often sleeping on your back can be uncomfortable after an hour, so place two pillows under your knees for additional leg comfort.

In addition to supporting your legs and taking the pressure off your knee joints, the pillows will force the small of your back onto the mattress.

With your back flat on the mattress, you will feel relief from the supporting muscles, allowing you to sleep easier.

Can you lay on your stomach after gallbladder surgery?

It’s not advisable. Your full recovery from gallbladder surgery will take approximately two months. This is for the wounds to heal inside and out thoroughly.

Stomach sleeping can cause complications to the incisions and the surgical site, so refrains from stomach sleeping for the recovery period.

How do you get out of bed after laparoscopic surgery?

It takes a little practice and perseverance but to avoid pain, you will soon grasp the principle.

Let’s do this in reverse and start by getting into bed. Sit on the side of your bed with your feet planted on the floor.

Place your left arm on the bed and place some weight on the arm. In one movement, swing your hips and legs onto the bed while simultaneously laying down on your left-hand side.

Next, roll like a log, do not twist your torso. Once on your back, you can lift your hips to find that comfortable sweet spot you have become used to.

To get out of bed, you will again roll like a log onto your left-hand side, place your arm in position to push up ( depending on your strength, you may need a little help) and push up in one movement, and swing your legs to the floor, Avoid twisting or stretching the torso.

It sounds complicated, but you will get the hang of it pretty quick. Some great physiotherapy videos online demonstrate the technique if you are struggling with the concept.

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