Gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ situated on the right side of the liver. Its main function is to collect a digestive fluid, commonly known as bile, which is produced by the liver. Problems in the gallbladder are usually caused by the presence of gallstones which are usually small and hard.
- Cholelithiasis —development of gallstones in the gallbladder
- Biliary colic —contraction of the gallbladder that produces intense pain due to the presence of gallstones blocking the bile ducts. The pain lingers for 5 to 24 hours.
- Cholecystitis —inflammation of the gallbladder; infection results from bacteria that infested the inflamed gallbladder.
- Biliary Dyskinesia —pain in the gallbladder due to improper emptying of the gallbladder.
Cholecystectomy or more commonly known as gallbladder surgery is the process of gallbladder removal. It is the most common operation performed on patients with gallstone symptoms. However, not all patients have gallstone symptoms. There is only about 80 percent of patients with painful gallstone symptoms who need to undergo gallbladder removal surgery.
Gallbladder Removal Surgery
Since laparoscopy is the most convenient and efficient way for doctors to remove the gallbladder, patients, too, find it the better gallbladder removal method. Gallbladder removal surgery using this technique is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This is when the surgeon removes your gallbladder using a laparoscope “or small camera” and the doctor can see the inside of your abdomen. During this procedure, the patient remains asleep.
- The “small camera” is inserted in one of the four tiny incisions on your abdomen, about the size of a keyhole.
- The surgeon views the gallbladder on a monitor that is connected to the camera.
- The surgeon then controls the long instruments or cannula outside the body while analyzing the procedure on the monitor.
- Once the surgeon removes the gallbladder, the cuts are closed using surgical tape or with absorbable stitches
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery is the standard of care, and open surgery (large incision), is only performed if absolutely necessary.
Benefits of Gallbladder Removal
- Provides relief in patients with painful gallstones, treats the infection and in some cases, prevents recurrence.
- Since Laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery is considered a minimally invasive procedure, it only requires four small incisions in the abdomen rather than five or seven-inch cuts.
- Individuals who have undergone laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery have faster recovery periods than open surgery patients.
Preparations Required For Gallbladder Removal
As with any procedure, preparation is required. Before cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal, individuals are asked to bring a list of medications they are taking and should inform the doctor before the operation. Some medications can affect a patient’s response to general anesthesia and even their recovery.
Even with all the blood work and medical evaluation, a patient should also inform the team of any allergic reaction to medications, or any lung, heart, and stomach problems. Even recent alcohol intake, drug use and smoking should also be reported.
What to Expect after Gallbladder Removal Surgery?
One may live a normal life without the gallbladder, and no special vitamins or enzymes are needed. However, a low-fat diet is recommended. This will help avoid bloating, diarrhea and abdominal and digestive discomfort.
Since gallbladder removal surgery is considered a major surgical operation, postoperative pain should be expected. Most patients who have undergone gallbladder removal can go home the day of the operation. Some patients take longer for the anesthesia to subside, so they need to stay in the hospital overnight. After surgery, patients are encouraged to walk around or go up and down.
Wound care is also advised on patients who have undergone gallbladder removal surgery. They should follow the doctor’s instructions on when to change the bandages. Scars from the removal surgery can heal in around four to five weeks.
Pain medication is commonly administered to patients with this type of surgery. If a patient experiences unusual pain or if it gets worse, the doctor should be contacted immediately.
Gallbladder Surgery Removal with Dr. Clay Albrecht
Seek only the likes of Dr. Albrecht’s service, who is a highly skilled robotic surgeon, with many years of experience in the field of laparoscopic cholecystectomy and its surrounding conditions. Accuracy in surgery can only be achieved by the best gallbladder surgeon with an outstanding safety record. Dr. Albrecht exemplifies accuracy and excellence with his proven safety record and good rapport with his patients, and he keeps this integrity in all aspects of his professional life.