What's the post op recovery time for older people?

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I know the rate of recovery differs for everyone but I’m in my 60s and can’t help feeling  that the 3 weeks they mentioned in the hospital literature is rather optimistic.  I had my cholecystectomy 18 days ago and the stitches are still in place in all the sites surrounded by light brown rings with what looks like enlarged pores within them.  (Anyone else had these?  I wondered if it’s some antiseptic that they used during the op.)

The doctor told me to start walking almost immediately, to restart tai chi after a fortnight (which I did last week with rests) but not to do aerobics or gym for at least another 2-3 weeks.  I’m also being careful not to lift anything heavy yet but I couldn’t resist doing some weeding the other day.

Whilst I don’t want to mollycoddle myself I’ve noticed that after a time of being active, I get a slight stitch type pain in the side which seems to be a warning to take it easy for a while.  (Have just read other posts and this pain seems to be a common occurrence.)

Anyway, I just wondered how long it’s taken other people of middle age or beyond to completely recover.  

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello I'm 72 and had my op 3 months ago and am just beginning on ge my energy back. I can still get an ache if I do too much gardening. Lifting is still a problem but I'm ok really. I had a set back att the end of March and had to go into hospital for 4 days to have tests, cat scan etc. my stomach had become very distended and I had stabbing pains in my right side. I got strong antibiotics but there was no infection. Just one of those things which does not happen often my consultant told me.I think I had tried to get back to all my activities too soon paying attention to the folk who said I'd be fine in 3 weeks. Just take it easy for a good bit longer than that and you will be fine.
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  • Posted

    I ended up having open surgery after keyhole failed on 19 April. 23 staples taken out after just under 2 weeks but been warned by nurse to do little even if scar healing well. Also have 4 keyhole sites which are healing well. Am getting frustrated at doing nothing but my body is telling me to take it easy. I get very tired easily and have now got painful haemmorhoids! Don't know if connected but fed up!
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  • Posted

    Hi helen Im only 46 years young. and the recovery time thy give you is nothing like the time it takes you to recover Im normally fit and healthy and had my op on the 7th Jan and only now feeling  nearly back to my old self. Fatigue was my biggest issue but I had a blocked duct and lots of infection so maybe it takes time to get over that . My consuktant kept telling me that its major surgery through small holes so thats worth keeping in mind      Good Luck and hope you feel better soon x
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  • Posted

    Hi Helen, Not had the op yet (it has been cancelled twice already by the hospital!) but like you I'm in my 60s and aware that it will be a different recovery for our generation than those having it earlier in life. Some of us will have other conditions as well.

    I read your post as was interested for when it is my turn, sorry that will not be much help to you I know. Except to say that it does take up to 6 months for thorough healing to complete - although we can expect to resume many of our usual activities much sooner, there can still be weakness as we have lost a part of the body and suffered controlled trauma. I was a nurse way back in the day when they only had the open surgery option and we kept people in hospital for a week then. It has moved on so much - wounds may be tiny but we still have the same thing done inside.

    Hope you heal and recover soon and enjoy your gb free life!

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  • Posted

    Most people can return to their normal activities in 7 to 10 days. People who have laparoscopic gallbladder surgery are sore for about a week. But in 2 to 3 weeks they have much less discomfort than people who have open surgery. No special diets or other precautions are needed after surgery.

    I had open surgery years ago. It took a few weeks before lifting pushing pulling were ok. Everyone is different age, body strength all varies. Take your time to heel so you can move on with the normal routine of life.

    many get well wishes sent your way.

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  • Posted

    Hi Helen I've just got back from seeing my surgeon to arrange for gallstone op

    One of the questions I asked about recovery time was how long to does it take to get back to normal

    He said no lifting for 4 weeks but soon after that

    I was 70 yesterday. Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Belated Happy Birthday, Jill!  Thanks for the info.  I'm currently making the most of hubby doing any heavy work including the vacuuming.

      Hope you get a date for your op fairly soon. 

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  • Posted

    Thanks to everyone for your advice and commiserations to those of you who’ve had complications with or following surgery.  I wish you all the very best for your recovery.

    I think my op was a fairly straightforward keyhole one (well I hope so anyway) although I was treated as an emergency case after an MRI scan and was later told that I’d been very lucky as my GB full of stones was on the point of rupturing.  I’d actually been expecting just to be sent home from A&E with more painkillers and anti-sickness meds so was rather surprised, and relieved, to be admitted instead.

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