Gallbladder surgery is a treatment option when gallstones are inflaming the gallbladder or causing pain.
Gallbladder Surgery explained
Gallbladder surgery is the removal of the gallbladder due to gallstones. A healthy gallbladder releases bile into the intestines to help digest fats. It is about the size of a pear when it is full of bile and deflates as it releases bile during normal digestion.
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Reasons for Gallbladder Surgery
Gallbladder problems are caused by clumps of cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate, and calcium carbonate forming in the bile. There can be a few or many gallstones ranging in size from tiny pebbles to the over 4 cm. Some gallstones can cause cholecystitis and severe pain. Gallstones can also block the pancreatic ducts and cause inflammation and pain in the pancreas.
Before the Procedure
Gallbladder surgery (gallbladder removal) is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures. Before gallbladder surgery the doctor will discuss how the laparoscopic surgery is performed. Complications are uncommon and can include:
- Bile duct trauma
- Wound infection
- Hernia at the laparoscopic port sites
- Conversion to an open procedure with a bigger incision and much longer recovery
After the Procedure
Most people having laparoscopic gallbladder surgery will not experience a complication. The majority of people return home after a short overnight stay in the hospital after surgery. If there are any concerns the patient may stay in hospital longer.
Typically, people return to work and normal activities within a week after surgery. The gallbladder can be removed without limiting a person’s ability to digest fats. Whilst dietary changes may be recommended for overall health, no special dietary restrictions are required after the gallbladder has been removed.
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