About Your Gallbladder Removal Surgery

About Your Surgery

This guide will help you prepare for surgery to remove your gallbladder (cholecystectomy) at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), and help you understand what to expect during your recovery. Read through this guide at least once before your surgery and then use it as a reference in the days leading up to your surgery. Bring this guide with you every time you come to MSK, including the day of your surgery, so that you and your healthcare team can refer to it throughout your care.

Your Gallbladder

Your gallbladder is a small, tear-drop shaped organ located under your liver (see Figure 1). Its main function is to store bile. Bile is a substance that is made in the liver and helps your body digest fats. Your gallbladder releases bile when food, especially fatty food, enters the digestive tract. When your gallbladder is removed, your liver will take over this function.

Figure 1. The gallbladder

Gallbladder Removal Surgery(Cholecystectomy)

Cholecystectomy is a surgery that is done to remove your gallbladder. Your gallbladder can be removed in one of two ways—laparoscopically or through an open incision (surgical cut). Your surgeon will speak with you about the best surgery option for you.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

In a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, your surgeon will make 4 very small incisions (see Figure 2). Each one will be about ½ inch long.

Figure 2. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy incisions

One of the incisions will be in or near your navel (belly button). Your surgeon will insert an instrument called a laparoscope through this incision. The laparoscope is a thin tube that has a video camera at the tip. Carbon dioxide gas is blown into your abdomen so that it expands. This makes room for your surgeon to see your organs and tissues. Other instruments will be inserted through the other incisions to cut your gallbladder. Your gallbladder will then removed through the incision at the navel.

The laparoscopic cholecystectomy takes about 2 hours. Some patients are able to go home the day of the surgery.

Open cholecystectomy

In about 10% of cases, the gallbladder needs to be removed through a larger incision on the right side of your abdomen. This surgery takes about 2 hours.

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Before Your Surgery

The information in this section will help you prepare for your surgery. Read through this section when your surgery is scheduled and refer to it as your surgery date gets closer. It contains important information about what you need to do before your surgery. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

Preparing for Your Surgery

You and your healthcare team will work together to prepare for your surgery.

About Drinking Alcohol

The amount of alcohol you drink can affect you during and after your surgery. It is important that you talk with your healthcare providers about your alcohol intake so that we can plan your care.

  • Stopping alcohol suddenly can cause seizures, delirium, and death. If we know you are at risk for these complications, we can prescribe medications to help prevent them.
  • If you drink alcohol regularly, you may be at risk for other complications during and after your surgery. These include bleeding, infections, heart problems, greater dependence on nursing care, and longer hospital stay.

Here are things you can do to prevent problems before your surgery:

  • Be honest with your healthcare provider about how much alcohol you drink.
  • Try to stop drinking alcohol once your surgery is planned. If you develop a headache, nausea, increased anxiety, or cannot sleep after you stop drinking, tell your doctor right away. These are early signs of alcohol withdrawal and can be treated.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you cannot stop drinking.
  • Ask us any questions you have aobut drinking and surgery. As always, all of your treatment information will be kept confidential.

Help us keep you safe during your surgery by telling us if any of the following statements apply to you.

  • I take a blood thinner. Some examples are aspirin, heparin, warfarin (Coumadin®), clopidogrel (Plavix®), tinzaparin (Innohep®), and enoxaparin (Lovenox®). There are others, so be sure your doctor knows all the medications you’re taking.
  • I take prescription medications, including patches and creams.
  • I take any over-the-counter medications, herbs, vitamins, minerals, or natural or home remedies.
  • I have a pacemaker, automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD), or other heart device.
  • I have sleep apnea.
  • I have had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • I have allergies, including to latex.
  • I am not willing to receive a blood transfusion.
  • I drink alcohol.
  • I smoke.
  • I use recreational drugs.

About Smoking

People who smoke can have breathing problems when they have surgery. Stopping even for a few days before surgery can help. If you want to quit, call our Tobacco Treatment Program at 212-610-0507. You can also ask your nurse about the program.

About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods while sleeping. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This means that the airway becomes completely blocked during sleep, so no air can get through. OSA can cause serious problems when you have surgery. Please tell us if you have sleep apnea or if you think you may have it. If you use a breathing machine (such as a CPAP) for sleep apnea, bring it with you the day of your surgery.

Within 30 Days of Your Surgery

Presurgical Testing

Before your surgery, you will have an appointment for presurgical testing (PST). The date, time, and location of your PST appointment will be printed on the appointment reminder from your surgeon’s office.

You can eat and take your usual medications the day of your PST appointment. During your appointment, you will meet with a nurse practitioner who works closely with anesthesiology staff (doctors and specialized nurses who will be giving you medication to put you to sleep during your surgery). He or she will review your medical and surgical history with you. You will have tests, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart rhythm, a chest x-ray, blood tests, and any other tests necessary to plan your care. Your nurse practitioner may also recommend you see other healthcare providers.

Your nurse practitioner will talk with you about which medications you should take the morning of your surgery. To help you remember, we’ve left space for you to write these medications down in “The Morning of Your Surgery” section of this guide.

It is very helpful if you bring the following with you to your PST appointment:

  • A list of all the medications you are taking, including patches and creams
  • Results of any tests done outside of MSK, such as a cardiac stress test, echocardiogram (echo), or carotid doppler study
  • The name(s) and telephone number(s) of your doctor(s)

Health Care Proxy

If you haven’t already completed a Health Care Proxy form, we recommend you complete one now. A health care proxy is a legal document that identifies the person who will speak for you if you are unable to communicate for yourself. The person you identify is called your health care agent. If you are interested in completing a Health Care Proxy form, or to learn more, talk with your nurse. If you have completed one already, or if you have any other advanced directive, bring it with you to your next appointment.

Breathing and Coughing Exercises

Practice taking deep breaths and coughing before your surgery. You will be given an incentive spirometer to help expand your lungs. For more information, please read How to Use Your Incentive Spirometer, located in the “After Your Surgery” section of this guide. If you have any questions, ask your nurse or respiratory therapist.


Try to do aerobic exercise every day, such as walking at least 1 mile, swimming, or biking. If it is cold outside, use stairs in your home or go to a mall or shopping market. Walking will help your body get into its best condition for your surgery and make your recovery faster and easier.

Eat a Healthy Diet

You should eat a well-balanced, healthy diet before your surgery. If you need help with your diet talk to your doctor or nurse about meeting with a dietitian.

10 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Certain Medications

If you take vitamin E, stop taking it 10 days before your surgery. If you take aspirin, ask your surgeon whether you should continue. Medications such as aspirin, medications that contain aspirin, and vitamin E can cause bleeding. For more information, please read Common Medications Containing Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) located in this section.

Purchase Hibiclens® Skin Cleanser

Hibiclens is a skin cleanser that kills germs for 6 hours after using it. Showering with Hibiclens before surgery will help reduce your risk of infection after surgery. Hibiclens is available at your local pharmacy without a prescription.

Purchase Clear Liquids

Purchase clear liquids to drink the day before your surgery. For a list of clear liquids that you can drink, please see the table in this section.

7 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Herbal Remedies and Supplements

Stop taking herbal remedies or supplements 7 days before your surgery. If you take a multivitamin, talk with your doctor or nurse about whether you should continue. For more information, please read Herbal Remedies and Cancer Treatment, located in this section.

Watch a Virtual Tour

This video will give you an idea of what to expect when you come to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s main hospital on the day of your surgery.

2 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Certain Medications

Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil®, Motrin®) and naproxen (e.g., Aleve®). These medications can cause bleeding. For more information, please read Common Medications Containing Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), located in this section.

1 Day Before Your Surgery

Note the Time of Your Surgery

A clerk from the Admitting Office will call you after 2:00 pm the day before your surgery. He or she will tell you what time you should arrive at the hospital for your surgery. If you are scheduled for surgery on a Monday, you will be called on the Friday before. If you do not receive a call by 7:00 pm, please call 212-639-5014.

Both locations are at 1275 York Avenue between East 67thand East 68thStreets.

  • Surgical Day Hospital (SDH), M elevator to 2nd floor
  • Presurgical Center (PSC), B elevator to 6th floor

Begin a Clear Liquid Diet

You will need to follow a clear liquid diet the day before your surgery. A clear liquid diet includes only liquids you can see through. Examples are listed in the table below. You cannot eat any solid foods while on a clear liquid diet.



Do Not Drink


  • Clear broth or bouillon

  • Clear consommé

  • Clear packaged vegetable, chicken, or beef broth

  • Any products with particles of dried food or seasoning

Sweets and Desserts

  • Gelatin, such as Jell-O®

  • Flavored ices

  • Hard candies, such as Lifesavers®

  • All others


  • Clear fruit juices, such as cranberry, grape, or apple

  • Soda, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, Gatorade®

  • Black coffee

  • Tea

  • Juices with pulp

  • Nectars

  • Milk

  • Alcoholic beverages

Shower With Hibiclens

The night before your surgery, shower using the Hibiclens solution. To use Hibiclens, open the bottle and pour some solution into your hand or a washcloth. Rub it gently over your body from your neck to your waist and rinse. Do not let the solution get into your eyes, ears, mouth, or genital area. Do not use any other soap. Dry yourself off with a clean towel after your shower.


Go to bed early and get a full night’s sleep.

Morning of Your Surgery

Between midnight and up until 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time, you may drink a total of 12 ounces of clear liquids (see Figure 3). 

Figure 3. 12 ounces of clear liquid

Examples of clear liquids include:

  • Clear broth, bouillon, or consommé (no particles of dried food or seasonings) 
  • Gelatin, such as Jell-O® 
  • Clear fruit juices (no pulp), such as white cranberry, white grape, or apple 
  • Soda, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, or Gatorade® 
  • Coffee or tea, without milk or cream 
  • Sneakers that lace up. You may have some swelling in your feet. Lace-up sneakers can accommodate this swelling.
  • Only the money you may need for a newspaper, bus, taxi, or parking.
  • Your portable music player, if you choose. However, someone will need to hold this item for you when you go into surgery.
  • Your incentive spirometer, if you have one.
  • Your breathing machine for sleep apnea (such as your CPAP), if you have one.
  • If you have a case for your personal items, such as eyeglasses, hearing aid(s), dentures, prosthetic device(s), wig, and religious articles such as a rosary, bring it with you.
  • Your Health Care Proxy form, if you have completed one. ȗ Your cell phone and charger.
  • This guide. Your healthcare team will use this guide to teach you how to care for yourself after your surgery.

Parking When You Arrive

Parking at MSK is available in the garage on East 66th Street between York and First Avenues. To reach the garage, enter East 66th Street from York Avenue. The garage is located about a quarter of a block in from York Avenue, on the right hand (north) side of the street. There is a pedestrian tunnel that you can walk through that connects the garage to the hospital. If you have questions about prices, call 212-639-2338.

There are also other garages located on East 69th Street between First and Second Avenues, East 67th Street between York and First Avenues, and East 65th Street between First and Second Avenues.

Once You’re in the Hospital

You will be asked to state and spell your name and date of birth many times. This is for your safety. Patients with the same or similar names may be having surgery on the same day.

Tell your nurse about medications you’ve taken

A nurse will meet with you before your surgery. Tell him or her the dose of any medications (including patches and creams) you took after midnight and the time you took them.

Get Dressed for Surgery

You will be given a hospital gown, robe, and nonskid socks.

Meet With Your Anesthesiologist

He or she will:

  • Review your medical history with you.
  • Talk with you about your comfort and safety during your surgery.
  • Talk with you about the kind of anesthesia you will receive.
  • Answer any questions you may have about your anesthesia.
Prepare for Surgery

Once your nurse has seen you, 1 or 2 visitors can keep you company as you wait for your surgery to begin. When it is time for your surgery, your visitor(s) will be shown to the waiting area. Your visitors should read Information for Family and Friends for the Day of Surgery, located in this section.

You will walk into the operating room or you can be taken in on a stretcher. A member of the operating room team will help you onto the operating bed. Compression boots will be placed on your lower legs. These gently inflate and deflate to help circulation in your legs.

Your anesthesiologist will place an intravenous (IV) line into a vein, usually in your arm or hand. The IV line will be used to give you fluids and anesthesia (medication to make you sleep) during your surgery.

Once you are fully asleep, a breathing tube will be placed through your mouth and into your windpipe to help you breathe. You will also have a urinary catheter placed to drain urine from your bladder.

Once your surgery is finished, your incision will be closed with staples or with stitches that will absorb as you are healing. Steri-Strips™ (thin pieces of tape) will be placed directly on your incision and covered with a bandage. Your breathing tube is usually taken out while you are still in the operating room.

After Your Surgery

The information in this section will tell you what to expect after your surgery, both during your hospital stay and after you leave the hospital. You will learn how to safely recover from your surgery. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

What to Expect

When you wake up after your surgery, you will be in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).

You will receive oxygen through a thin tube that rests below your nose called a nasal cannula. A nurse will be monitoring your body temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.

You may have a urinary catheter (Foley®) in your bladder to monitor the amount of urine you are making. You will also have compression boots on your lower legs to help your circulation.

You may have a pain pump called a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) device. For more information, please read Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA), in this section. Your pain medication will be given through an IV line.

Your visitors can see you briefly in the PACU, usually within 90 minutes after you arrive there. A member of the nursing staff will explain the guidelines to them.

After your stay in the PACU, you will be taken to your hospital room. Soon after you arrive in your room, you will be helped out of bed and into a chair. Your nurse will tell you how to recover from your surgery. Below are examples of ways you can help yourself recover safely.

  • You will be encouraged to walk with the help of your nurse or physical therapist. We will give you medication to relieve pain. Walking helps reduce the risk for blood clots and pneumonia. It also helps to stimulate your bowels so they begin working again.
  • Use your incentive spirometer. This will help your lungs expand, which prevents pneumonia. For more information, please read How to Use Your Incentive Spirometer, in this section.
  • Continue to perform your breathing and coughing exercises every 1 to 2 hours while you are awake.Your nurse will teach you to splint your incision. This will reduce the movement of your stomach muscles and decrease pain while you do the coughing exercises.

Commonly Asked Questions: During Your Hospital Stay

The following section covers common questions patients ask after having gallbladder removal surgery. Speak with your doctor or nurse if you have any additional questions or if any of this information is unclear.

Will I have pain after my surgery?

Yes, you will have pain after your surgery, especially in the first few days. Your doctor and nurse will ask you about your pain often. You will be given medication to manage your pain as needed. If your pain is not relieved, please tell your doctor or nurse. It is important to control your pain so you can cough, breathe deeply, use your incentive spirometer, and get out of bed and walk.

Why is it important to walk?

Walking will help prevent blood clots in your legs. It also decreases your risk of having other complications such as pneumonia.

Will I be able to eat?

Your doctor will let you know when you can start eating and drinking. This will depend on the time of your surgery and how you are feeling after it. Some patients are able to drink small amounts of liquids the evening of the surgery. Most patients are able to start eating the day after the surgery. When you are able to eat, you should start slowly and progress to your regular diet as tolerated.

Eating a balanced diet high in protein will help you heal after surgery. Your diet should include a healthy protein source at each meal, as well as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For more tips on increasing the amount of calories and protein in your diet, ask your nurse for the resource Eating Well During and After Your Cancer Treatment. If you have questions about your diet, ask to see a dietitian.

How long will I be in the hospital?

If you had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you will probably go home within 24 hours. If you had an open cholecystectomy, you will be in the hospital for 2 to 3 days.

Commonly Asked Questions: After You Leave the Hospital

Will I have pain when I am home?

The length of time each patient has pain or discomfort varies. You may still have some pain when you go home and will probably be taking pain medication. Follow the guidelines below.

  • Call your doctor if the medication prescribed for you doesn’t relieve your pain.
  • Take your medications as directed and as needed.
  • Do not drive or drink alcohol while you are taking prescription pain medication.
  • As your incision heals, you will have less pain and need less pain medication. A mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) will relieve aches and discomfort. However, large quantities of acetaminophen may be harmful to your liver. Do not take more acetaminophen than the amount directed on the bottle or as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
  • Pain medication should help you as you resume your normal activities. Take enough medication to do your exercises comfortably. Pain medication is most effective 30 to 45 minutes after taking it.
  • Keep track of when you take your pain medication. Taking it when your pain first begins is more effective than waiting for the pain to get worse.

Can I shower?

Yes, taking a warm shower is relaxing and can help decrease muscle aches. Use soap when you shower and gently wash your incision. Pat the areas dry with a towel after showering, and leave your incision uncovered (unless there is drainage). Call your doctor if you see any redness or drainage from your incision.

Do not take tub baths until you discuss it with your doctor at the first appointment after your surgery.

Is it normal not to feel hungry after surgery?

It is common to have a decreased appetite after surgery. Try eating several smaller meals that have each of the food groups (i.e., fruits/vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, breads/grains, dairy products). This will help you heal faster.

How can I prevent constipation?

Your usual bowel pattern will change after surgery. You may have trouble passing stool (feces). This is a common side effect of pain medication. Please review the material your nurse gave you about fiber and constipation.

To avoid constipation, take a stool softener such as docusate sodium (Colace®) 3 times a day and 2 tablets of senna (a laxative) at bedtime. Continue taking the stool softener and laxative until you are no longer taking pain medication. Drink plenty of liquids. If you feel bloated avoid foods that can cause gas, such as beans, broccoli, onions, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Can I drink alcohol after surgery?

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking pain medications.

How do I care for my incision?

The location of your incision will depend on the type of surgery you had. It is normal to have numbness of the skin below the incision because some of the nerves were cut; this sensation will lessen over time.

  • By the time you are ready to leave the hospital, your surgical incision will have begun to heal.
  • You and your caregiver should look at your incision with your nurse before you leave the hospital so you know what it looks like.
  • If any liquid is draining from your incision, you should write down the amount and color. Call your doctor’s office and speak with the nurse about any drainage from your incision.

Change your bandages at least once a day and more often if they become wet with drainage. When there is no longer any drainage coming from your incision, they can be left uncovered.

If you go home with Steri-Strips on your incision, they will loosen and fall off by themselves. If they haven’t fallen off within 10 days, you may remove them.

If you go home with glue over your sutures (stitches), it will also loosen and peel off, similarly to the Steri-Strips.

Is it normal to feel tired after surgery?

Yes, feeling tired (fatigue) is an expected side effect. It usually takes 3 weeks until your energy level returns to normal.

Can I resume my activities?

It is important for you to resume your activities after surgery. Spread them out over the course of the day. You can do light household tasks. Try washing dishes, preparing light meals, and other activities as you are able.

You may return to your usual sexual activity as soon as your incisions are well healed and you can do so without pain or fatigue.

Your body is an excellent guide for telling you when you have done too much. When you increase your activity, monitor your body’s reaction. You may find that you have more energy in the morning or the afternoon. Plan your activities for times of the day when you have more energy.

When is it safe for me to drive?

You may resume driving 3 weeks after surgery as long as you are not taking pain medication that may make you drowsy.

When can I return to work?

The time it takes to return to work depends on the type of work you do, the type of surgery you had, and how fast your body heals. Most people are able to return to work 1 to 2 weeks after a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and 3 to 4 weeks after an open cholecystectomy.

What exercises can I do?

Exercise will help you gain strength and feel better. Walking and stair climbing are excellent forms of exercise.

Gradually increase the distance you walk. Climb stairs slowly, resting or stopping as needed. Ask your doctor or nurse before starting more strenuous exercises.

When can I lift heavy objects?

Check with your doctor before you do any heavy lifting. Normally, you should not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) for at least 6 weeks. Ask your doctor how long you should avoid heavy lifting.

How can I cope with my feelings?

After surgery for a serious illness, you may have new and upsetting feelings. Many patients say they felt weepy, sad, worried, nervous, irritable, and angry at one time or another. You may find that you cannot control some of these feelings. If this happens, it’s a good idea to seek emotional support.

The first step in coping is to talk about how you feel. Family and friends can help. Your nurse, doctor, and social worker can reassure, support, and guide you. It is always a good idea to let these professionals know how you, your family, and your friends are feeling emotionally. Many resources are available to patients and their families. Whether you are in the hospital or at home, the nurses, doctors, and social workers are here to help you and your family and friends handle the emotional aspects of your illness.

When is my first appointment after my surgery?

Your first appointment after surgery will be in 1 to 3 weeks after you leave the hospital. Your nurse will give you instructions on how to make this appointment, including the phone number to call. During this appointment, your doctor will discuss the pathology results with you in detail.

  • A temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • Pain that does not get better with your medications
  • Redness, swelling, or drainage from your incision that is foul smelling or pus-like
  • Any new symptom or physical change
  • Any questions or concerns

After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, call 212-639-2000. Ask to speak to the doctor on call for your surgeon.


This section contains a list of MSK support services, as well as the resources that were referred to throughout this guide. These resources will help you prepare for your surgery and recover safely. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

MSK Resources

Call to discuss private room or luxury suite options. If you want to change your room choice after your presurgical testing visit, call 212-639-7873 or 212-639-7874.
Call with questions about anesthesia.
Blood Donor Room
Call for more information if you are interested in donating blood or platelets.
Bobst International Center
MSK welcomes patients from around the world. If you are an international patient, call for help.
Chaplaincy Service
At MSK, our chaplains are available to listen, help support family members, pray, contact community clergy or faith groups, or simply be a comforting companion and a spiritual presence. Anyone can request spiritual support, regardless of formal religious affiliation. The interfaith chapel is located near the main lobby of Memorial Hospital, and is open 24 hours a day. If you have an emergency, please call the hospital operator and ask for the chaplain on call.
Counseling Center
Many people find counseling helpful. We provide counseling for individuals, couples, families, and groups, as well as medications to help if you feel anxious or depressed.
Integrative Medicine Service
Integrative Medicine Service offers patients many services to complement traditional medical care, including music therapy, mind/body therapies, dance and movement therapy, yoga, and touch therapy.
Look Good Feel Better Program
Learn techniques to help you feel better about your appearance by taking a workshop or visiting the program online at www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.
Patient-to-Patient Support Program
You may find it comforting to speak with a cancer survivor or caregiver who has been through a similar treatment. Through our Patient-to-Patient Support Program, we are able to offer you a chance to speak with former patients and caregivers.
Patient Billing
Call Patient Billing with any questions about preauthorization from your insurance company. This is also called preapproval.
Patient Representative Office
Call if you have any questions about the Health Care Proxy form or if you have any concerns about your care.
Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist
Call if you have any questions about MSK releasing any information while you are having surgery.
Private Nursing Options
Patients may request private nurses or companions. Call for more information.
Resources for Life After Cancer (RLAC) Program
At MSK, care doesn’t end after active treatment. The RLAC Program is for patients and their families who have finished treatment. This program has many services, including seminars, workshops, support groups, counseling on life after treatment, and help with insurance and employment issues.
Social Work
Social workers help patients, family, and friends deal with issues that are common for cancer patients. They provide individual counseling and support groups throughout the course of treatment, and can help you communicate with children and other family members. Our social workers can also refer you to community agencies and programs, as well as financial resources if you’re eligible.
Tobacco Treatment Program
If you want to quit smoking MSK has specialists who can help. Call for more information.
For additional online information, visit LIBGUIDES on MSK’s library website at http://library. mskcc.org. You can also contact the library reference staff at 212-639-7439 for help.

External Resources

The following are resources outside of MSK that you may find helpful:

In New York City, the MTA offers a shared ride, door-to-door service for people with disabilities who are unable to take the public bus or subway.
Air Charity Network
Provides travel to treatment centers.
American Cancer Society (ACS)
Offers a variety of information and services, including Hope Lodge, a free place for patients and caregivers to stay during cancer treatment.
Cancer and Careers
A comprehensive resource for education, tools, and events for employees with cancer.
275 Seventh Avenue (between West 25th & West 26th Streets) New York, NY 10001
Provides counseling, support groups, educational workshops, publications, and financial assistance.
Cancer Support Community
Provides support and education to people affected by cancer.
Caregiver Action Network
Provides education and support for those who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability.
Corporate Angel Network
Free travel to treatment across the country using empty seats on corporate jets.
Gilda’s Club
A place where men, women, and children living with cancer find social and emotional support through networking, workshops, lectures, and social activities.
Good Days
Offers financial assistance to pay for copayments during treatment. Patients must have medical insurance, meet the income criteria, and be prescribed medication that is part of the Good Days formulary.
Healthwell Foundation
Provides financial assistance to cover copayments, health care premiums, and deductibles for certain medications and therapies.
Joe’s House
Provides a list of places to stay near treatment centers for people with cancer and their families.
LGBT Cancer Project
Provides support and advocacy for the LGBT community, including a online support groups and a database of
LGBT friendly clinical trials.
National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Legal Services Network
Free cancer legal advocacy program.
National LGBT Cancer Network
Provides education, training, and advocacy for LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk.
Needy Meds
Lists Patient Assistance Programs for brand and generic name medications.
Provides prescription benefits to eligible employees and retirees of public sector employers in
New York State.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get free or low-cost medications.
Patient Access Network Foundation
Provides assistance with copayments for patients with insurance.
Patient Advocate Foundation
Provides access to care, financial assistance, insurance assistance, job retention assistance, and access to the national underinsured resource directory.
Provides assistance to help people obtain medications that they have trouble affording.

Additional Resources

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