Your child had a cholescystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery). Learn how to care for your child after going home from the hospital.


Your child will have a white gauze dressing(s) covered by a clear plastic (Tegaderm®).

  • Remove this dressing 3 days after surgery.
  • Beneath the gauze dressing(s) are small white bandages (Steri-strips®). These will usually fall off in 1 to 3 weeks.


Stitches hold the incision together. Your child’s stitches will either be visible or not visible:

_____ Not visible - They do not need to be removed; they are beneath the skin and will be absorbed by the body.

_____ Visible – The stitches will be either black or blue and will be removed by your doctor.


  • You may shower or sponge bathe while the bandage(s) is in place. Pat the dressing dry.
  • Remove the bandages (white gauze with clear dressing) 3 days after surgery, and you may continue to shower or sponge bathe.
  • As long as the incision(s) does not appear open and there is no drainage, you may swim or submerge the site below the water in a bath one week after surgery.


_____ Open Cholecystectomy:
• No strenuous activity such as bike riding, gymnastics, contact sports, martial arts, school gym or weigh lifting until you check with the surgeon at the follow-up appointment.

_____ Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy:
The child may resume normal activities without restriction as tolerated.


  • Your child may eat or drink as usual.
  • If vomiting occurs, do not give your child anything to eat or drink for 2 hours. Then offer small amounts of clear liquids or half strength juice until your child does not vomit any more. Your child may then slowly start on their normal diet.
  • If your child continues to vomit, please call the office.


  • Your child may have a prescription for pain medication such as oxycodone. If the incision(s) remains uncomfortable, use the prescription medication according to instructions.
  • Your child may take Tylenol® (acetaminophen) or Motrin® (ibuprofen) for discomfort if the pain is mild.

Please call the office if your child develops any of the following:

  • Fever greater than or equal to 101 degrees F
  • Redness, swelling or drainage from the incision site(s)
  • Pain despite the prescription medication

If you have any questions, please call your surgeon’s office at 617-726-0270.

Rev. 10/2012. This document is intended to provide health related information so that you may be better informed. It is not a substitute for a doctor's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.