Gallstones Surgery: Why would I need it?
Gallbladder surgery explained by Mr Jon Armstrong, General Surgeon.
Gallbladder surgery in brief
Even if our team here at Advance Surgical are well known for weight loss surgery procedures in Perth, some patients don’t know that we are also a team of General Surgeons and we perform a range of surgeries that are not related to weight loss. Gallbladder or gallstone surgery is one of the common surgical procedures performed here at Advance Surgical Perth.
At least 1 in 5 Australians over 40 have gallstones. But not all of them cause pain or discomfort. When you do experience pain caused by gallstones, our surgeons will discuss gallstone surgery or gallbladder surgery as it is also called.
How does gallstones surgery work?
Gallstone surgery is performed as a keyhole surgical procedure, also known as laparoscopic surgery (or laparoscopy). What some patients don’t know is that gallstone surgery means that we remove your entire gallbladder containing the stones within it. Simply removing the stones is not an effective treatment, because your gallbladder would very likely produce new stones quickly.
Many patients ask us what to expect when they need gallstone surgery. Because the surgery is performed using laparoscopy (as opposed to an open surgery) the level of discomfort you experience as a patient is much less.
Your surgeon will usually create 4 small incisions in your abdomen, and then inflate the abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. The laparoscope (a lighted scope with a camera) is then inserted near the belly button and the surgeon uses the image on a screen as a guide, inserting the surgical instruments that are used to remove your gallbladder. For this surgery, patients need general anaesthesia and the procedure generally takes about 1 hour or less.
Why is keyhole surgery for gallstones faster than open surgery?
The recovery times with laparoscopy surgery are shorter compared to those with open surgery types. As a patient, you experience a faster recovery and it is also less painful. Patients go home the same day or the next day, whereas 2 to 4 days in hospital would have been the average stay for gallbladder removal done through open surgery. As a patient you can return to your normal routine quicker after a laparoscopic surgery (generally after about a week).
How safe is gallstones surgery?
Here at Advance Surgical Perth, we have performed over 1,000 gallstones surgeries and view it as a usually safe surgical procedure. Our surgeons are available to answer any extra questions you may have in regards to gallstones or gallbladder surgery.
Having said that, it is a standard obligation in Australia to include this warning: You acknowledge that all surgeries have risks, even when performed by a Specialist Surgeon.
You acknowledge that complications can occur, and that a consultation with a qualified medical professional is required to understand all the risks and complications involved. You acknowledge that before proceeding with any treatment, you could seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
If you have any questions in regards to gallstones surgery or gallbladder removal, please contact Advance Surgical Perth.