About Gallbladder Removal Surgery
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is gallbladder removal surgery?
Gallbladder removal surgery (also known as Cholecystectomy) is a surgical procedure performed to remove the gallbladder. Removal of the gallbladder will not cause any threats to your life.
What are the different types of gallbladder removal surgery?
There are two types of gallbladder removal surgery:
How to prepare for a gallbladder removal surgery?
- Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Surgery
This method uses a laparoscope to remove the gallbladder. A laparoscope is a flexible endoscopic tube with a camera and light attached to it. It transmits images from the gallbladder to a monitor or an eyepiece for the surgeon to view.
3 or 4 small incisions are made in the abdomen through which the laparoscope and other surgical instruments are inserted into the abdomen. Air is blown into the abdomen to expand it for better operation and view. First, the bile ducts and blood vessels connected to the gallbladder are cut. Then the laparoscope removes the gallbladder.
- Open Incision Gallbladder Removal Surgery
In this method of gallbladder removal surgery, a large incision of about 5 to 7 inches is made in the upper right part of the abdomen, beneath the ribs. First, the bile ducts and blood vessels connected to the gallbladder are cut. Then the gallbladder is removed.
In both the methods of surgery, a cholangiogram is also performed. This is a particular x-ray in which some dye is jetted into the common bile duct. This dye will help in locating stones that are outside the gallbladder. If there are stones, they will be removed.
- The patient may need to have certain medical tests, such as:
- Blood test
- Chest x-ray
- Gallbladder x-rays
- The patient should inform the doctor about
- Health and medical conditions such as pregnancy or heart disease
- Any medication the patient may be taking
- There are some medications that the doctor may ask the patient to avoid a week before the surgery.
- The stomach should be empty before the surgery.
- The patient should stop eating solid or liquid food since the night before the surgery.
Duration of procedure/surgery : Approximately 1 hour
Days admitted : Laparoscopic surgery: 1 to 2 days
Open Incision surgery: 2 to 6 days
Anesthesia : General anesthesia
Recovery : Recovery in a laparoscopic surgery is faster that an open incision surgery. During the stay in the hospital:
- An incentive spirometer is used for the patient to breathe. This ensures that the lungs work well and remain healthy against the risk of pneumonia.
- Intravenous fluids are given to the patient before starting normal food and drinks.
- The patient may be required to wear pressure stockings that help in the prevention of blood clotting.
Risks : The risks involved in a gallbladder removal surgery are:
- Allergy to medication
- Risks of anesthesia
- Injury to the bile ducts and intestines
After care : - The patient may have 1 or 2 drainage tubes in the abdomen which is used to remove any fluid left in the abdomen and to drain bile. These will be removed in 2 to 4 weeks. The doctor’s instructions on taking care of these drains should be followed carefully.
- After getting discharged from the hospital, the patient should not drive home from the hospital. An arrangement should be made for someone to drive the patient home.
- The patient should not be involved in strenuous activities and lifting heavy objects.
- The doctor may prescribe pain medications to ease the pains on the surgical wounds.
- The doctor’s instructions on treating the wounds should be followed carefully.
- The wound area should be kept clean and dry.
The patient should inform the doctor if the following symptoms occur:
- Fever above 101 degree Fahrenheit
- Bleeding and pus formation on surgical wounds
- Breathing difficulty
- Severe abdominal pain
- Coughing that does not recover
- Unable to eat or drink
- Stool is gray in color
- Skin becomes yellow in color
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