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Recovery Tracker

Get Well Soon

Helping you make a speedy recovery after gall bladder removal

Recovery tracker

Days Post Op How you might feel Things you can do safely Fit to work?

1 - 2 days

Your midriff will be sore from the operation and you may have pain in your shoulder as well. You will also feel a lot more tired than normal. Take things easy.

  • Get up, get dressed, move around the house.
  • Eat and drink as normal.
  • If you feel tired, rest for a while and try moving around again later.


    3 days

    • There should be much less pain in your midriff and shoulder.
    • You should be able to move a lot more easily than in the last couple of days, but you’ll still get tired more quickly than you did before the operation
      • Continue as day 1-2
      • Go for a short walk in the morning - no more than 5-10 minutes - then go home and rest. Go for another short walk or two later in the day, resting between each one. This will help to avoid stiffness of the muscles and joints
      • You may still occasionally need to take a mild painkiller at this time.

      Not just yet

      4 - 6 days

      There should be very little pain now, though you will still feel tired as your body uses extra energy for healing.

      Continue as on day 3, building up the number of activities you do around the house, perhaps going for a slightly longer walk each day. Keep track of your activities using the recovery diary on page 8 - build up slowly and steadily.

      getting there

      7 - 13 days

      You’ll probably be able to do most things as normal, most of the time, but still get tired now and again.

      Continue to build up the amount of activity you’re doing towards your normal levels. Monitor your progress using the recovery diary on page 11.
      Walking, swimming, cycling and light exercise are allowed as long as the wound is comfortable. After day 10, you might want to test your fitness to drive using the exercise on page 7.

      Normally after day 10, on light duties or reduced hours

      14+ days

      You should be feeling stronger each day.

      Talk to your doctor about going back to work (if you haven’t already).


      2-4 weeks

      Most people who’ve had the operation will be back at work by now, unless there are special circumstances - for example, their job demands a lot of physical exertion and heavy manual work.


      6 weeks

      If you haven’t had any complications to do with your surgery, and you’re still off work, it’s possible that you’re feeling anxious about returning to work and could do with a bit of help from your GP and your employer. Talk to them both about a gradual return to work.

      If you’re off for too long, there’s a risk of developing problems to do with anxiety, isolation, and lack of confidence. These could affect your quality of life in the long term. Talk to your doctor about how best to avoid this becoming a problem for you.



      When can I have sex?

      For many people, being able to have sex again is an important milestone in their recovery. There are no set rules or times about when it’s safe to do so other than whether it feels OK to you - treat it like any other physical activity and build up gradually.

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