The Mayo Clinic reports that most people return to normal activity in seven to 10 days after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. Open cholecystectomy requires four to six weeks' recovery. Patients whose work is physically demanding should talk to their doctors about their recuperation time, according to WebMD.
In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon uses several small abdominal incisions. It typically takes an hour or two. The patient can be an outpatient, or the surgery may require a night or two in the hospital. Soreness remains for about a week. No special diets are required after surgery, according to WebMD.
Open cholecystectomy involves a 6-inch incision. This surgery takes one to two hours, and the patient remains in the hospital for two or three days. Gallbladder surgery that starts as laparoscopic can become an open cholecystectomy if the surgeon encounters complications or scarring from previous surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic.