Best Gifts for Gallbladder Surgery Patients: Humor Can Lower Stress and Ease Recovery
Posted on January 20 2023
As a healthcare provider, you may already know that most cholecystectomies are safe, minimally invasive, and performed routinely. But many of your patients may be nervous or scared of surgery, even keyhole surgery. They may be anxious about the anesthesia, the medical procedure, pain, being away from home, and taking time to recover.
Thoughtful gifts may relieve stress and help people recover faster.
After gallbladder surgery: dealing with discomfort
After cholecystectomy, people may face pain when trying to change positions. A cushion can help provide support. If they need to cough or sneeze, hugging a small pillow across their abdomen can help ease discomfort and prevent disturbing the incision. They may appreciate a cushion that addresses this specific need.
Right after surgery, patients are also advised to drink a lot of liquids, including plenty of water, soup, and electrolyte-rich drinks. A dash of friendly gallbladder humor on their mug can help bring a smile to their face.
Easing stress for faster recovery
The science is in — psychological stress slows down and impairs wound healing after surgery. Chronic stress leads to higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can cause inflammation. Inflammation is already present after surgery as the body tries to heal. Added inflammation from elevated cortisol levels prolongs recovery time and interferes with healing.
Stress also activates the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response and elevates heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
Additionally, patients are advised to perform gentle exercises like walking after surgery. They will also have to follow an anti-inflammatory diet by avoiding greasy and gas-producing foods. Stress heightens symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. It may be difficult for people battling these mental health conditions to stick to the post-surgery diet and exercise regimen.
How humor helps people recover after surgery
Recovery after gallbladder surgery can take weeks: 2 weeks after keyhole surgery and up to 8 weeks for open surgery. During this time, humor can be a much-needed safety valve to ease the pressure.
Seeing the funny side of things can increase tolerance to pain, help release endorphins which act as painkillers, and lower cortisol levels. Studies show that perceived social support has a strong association with recovery after surgery. This means that feeling loved and supported can go a long way to helping patients get better.
How do you cheer up a loved one, co-worker, or anxious patient about to get surgery? Or what do you get a medical student drowning in stressful school work, labs, grad school applications, and more? A little humor is great medicine, and the Awkward Yeti has your back.
The Awkward Yeti store has gallbladder plushies, mugs, stress toys, gift cards, quirky scrub caps and lanyards, games, and many more. We’re also the home of the viral ‘Heart and Brain’ and gallbladder comics, loved by medical professionals, med students, and people who had surgery. Follow us on Instagram at @theawkwardyeti.