Gallbladder Removal Surgery
The gallbladder is a small, sac-shaped organ that sits beneath the liver which is responsible for bile storage (a fluid in your liver that helps digest fat). In some instances, your health becomes sacrificed when your gallbladder is not functioning properly. Luckily, healthy digestion can occur without the presence of a gallbladder and it can be removed from your body.
A cholecystectomy, commonly known as gallbladder removal surgery, is a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder. Your healthcare provider may recommend removing your gallbladder if you have:
- Gallstones (cholelithiasis) causing you pain
- A severe gallbladder attack
- Inflammation of your gallbladder
- Inflammation of your pancreas
- A gallbladder that is defective and doesn’t fill or empty correctly
- Gallbladder cancer
If not treated promptly, your gallbladder could cause you extreme pain and even lead to a gallbladder attack. Schedule a consultation with a qualified surgeon in that can safely perform gallbladder surgery. Call (470) 419-4380 or contact us online.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Issues
Gallbladder symptoms can masquerade as other health issues, so it’s important to contact your healthcare provider if you suspect that you’re having health problems. However, some of the symptoms of a diseased gallbladder include:
- Pain on the right side or middle of your stomach, which may radiate to your back or right shoulder blade
- Increased pain after a heavy meal
- Nausea, or vomiting
What to Expect During Gallbladder Surgery
There are two surgical options that your healthcare provider may discuss with you for gallbladder removal, but if your overall health is good, laparoscopy will likely be your healthcare provider’s first recommendation.
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery involves 3-4 tiny incisions in your abdominal area. These incisions are for the purpose of inserting instruments and a camera with a lighted scope into your abdomen to allow your healthcare provider to see internally and aide in performing the surgery. Your healthcare provider will inflate your abdomen with air or carbon dioxide to further increase visibility. Your gallbladder will then be removed through one of these incisions. Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is an outpatient procedure that involves significantly less recovery time than open surgery.
The other option is the open, traditional method of gallbladder surgery, and is much more invasive. It is usually recommended when a person’s overall health is poor or for more serious issues such as gallbladder cancer. Open surgery typically involves general anesthesia and one incision that is 4-6 inches long at the upper right-hand side of your stomach. Your healthcare provider then removes your gallbladder through this incision.
Gallbladder Surgery Recovery
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is often an outpatient surgery which means a patient can return home the same day. If your surgeon elects to perform the traditional, more invasive version of gallbladder surgery, it may require 1-4 days in the hospital, depending on how well you are progressing in your recovery.
It generally takes 7-10 days before your healthcare provider will be willing to recommend that you return to you normal activities. You will likely be sore for about a week, but this pain will diminish over the course of 2-3 weeks. It will be important to keep your incisions dry and follow any special bathing instructions your healthcare provider gives to you while you are in the gallbladder removal recoveryprocess. Any stitches or surgical staples that need removing will be removed in a follow-up visit.
Your healthcare provider may recommend adhering to a low-fat diet after your gallbladder removal as your body adjusts to a new digestive process, and may also recommend avoiding caffeinated drinks and spicy foods if you experience any indigestion, bloating, flatulence or diarrhea. Most patients can then return to the same diet they had before surgery without any complications. If you experience discomfort during meals after your gallbladder is removed, you healthcare provider may recommend more long-term changes to your diet including:
- Eating small, frequent meals
- Avoiding large meals in the evening after a day of fasting
- Avoiding fried foods
Gallbladder surgery is a very common form of surgery and is generally very successful. However, some potential risks may include internal bleeding, infection at the incision site and bloating or gas following the surgery. Your healthcare provider will discuss these risks with you ahead of your surgery and closely monitor you immediately following your gallbladder removal surgery so that they may immediately address these concerns.
To schedule a consultation with a gallbladder surgeon in that can perform a gallbladder removal, call (470) 419-4380 or contact us online.