Gallbladder Surgery

Gallbladder Surgery Definition

The removal of the gallbladder is one of the most common surgical procedures performed by surgeons. The surgical term for this procedure is laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that rests beneath the liver on the right side. The gallbladder’s main function is to store and concentrate bile, a substance secreted by the liver that helps with digestion. Removal of the gallbladder is not associated with any digestive impairment in the majority of cases.

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Reasons to get a Gallbladder Surgery

  • Gallstones
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dysfunctional gallbladder
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Pancreatitis
  • Symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Indigestion
  • Intolerance to fatty foods
  • Abdominal pain that may radiate to the back
  • Bloating and cramps

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Nonsurgical Options

  • Oral bile acids- not often used
  • Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy
  • Contact dissolution therapy
  • Percutaneous insertion of a gallbladder drain (temporary measure)

Surgical Options

Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery removal rather than open removal is the treatment of choice for treating gallbladder disease.

Risks Associated with Gallbladder Surgery

  • Infection of the skin
  • Common bile duct injury
  • Intra-abdominal collection of bile (biloma)or blood
  • Postoperative ileus (the intestines slow down/stop working for several days)
  • Intestinal injury

(This is only a partial list of potential complications)

PRE-OPERATIVE PREPARATION

May include blood work, urinalysis, abdominal x-rays, an abdominal CT scan, ultrasound, HIDA scan, endoscopy or ERCP.

AVERAGE HOSPITAL STAY

Most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis (same day surgery). For open removal of the gallbladder, patients may remain hospitalized for about 1-3 days.

TYPE OF ANESTHESIA REQUIRED

Laparoscopic surgery requires general anesthesia which blocks pain and keeps you asleep throughout the entire surgery.

RECOVERY PERIOD

Once you have undergone laparoscopic surgery, your recovery period is usually shortened when compared to conventional open surgery. Most patients are usually discharged the same day. You will be given pain medication along with a laxative to prevent constipation. Your activity may be limited to light lifting (no more than 20 lb) for one month.

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