What is gall bladder removal surgery?
Gallbladder removal surgery, medically referred to as cholecystectomy, is a general procedure.
The gallbladder is a small, pouch-shaped organ located in the upper right region of the abdomen. Its primary function is to store bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver that aids in breaking fatty foods.
The presence of a gallbladder is not essential for the body's normal functioning. Therefore, surgical removal is often recommended if any issues arise with the gallbladder. This procedure eliminates the gallbladder and resolves any associated problems or complications that may have developed.
Why does the gallbladder need to be removed?
The surgical removal of the gallbladder is commonly performed when individuals experience painful gallstones.
Gallstones are small formations that can develop within the gallbladder due to an imbalance in bile substances.
While gallstones often remain asymptomatic and go unnoticed, there are instances when they can obstruct the flow of bile, leading to irritation of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis) or pancreas (acute pancreatitis).
The presence of these conditions can give rise to various symptoms, including:
- Sudden and severe abdominal pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).
In most cases, surgery to remove the gallbladder is the most effective and recommended treatment approach. Eliminating the gallbladder can resolve the issues associated with gallstones, providing long-term relief and preventing further complications.
What happens during gallbladder removal surgery?
There are two primary methods for gallbladder removal:
- Laparoscopic (keyhole) cholecystectomy involves making several small incisions in the abdomen. Specialized surgical instruments are inserted through these incisions to access and remove the gallbladder. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is preferred due to its advantages, such as shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery times, and more minor scars.
- Open cholecystectomy: In this technique, a larger incision is made in the abdomen to access and remove the gallbladder. Open cholecystectomy may be necessary when the laparoscopic approach is not feasible or appropriate.
Both procedures are conducted under general anaesthesia, ensuring you are asleep and pain-free throughout the operation.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is more commonly performed due to its benefits, including shorter hospitalization, faster recovery, and reduced scarring. However, the choice of procedure depends on individual circumstances, and your healthcare provider at Apex Hospitals will determine the most suitable approach for your specific situation.
Recovering from Gall bladder removal surgery
Recovery from keyhole surgery to remove the gallbladder is typically faster. Many individuals can be discharged from the hospital on the same day or the following morning. Within approximately 2 weeks, most people can resume their regular activities. In contrast, recovery from open surgery takes longer. Hospitalization for 3 to 5 days may be necessary, and it may take approximately 6 to 8 weeks before you fully regain your average level of well-being.
Living without a Gallbladder
Living an everyday life without a gallbladder is entirely possible. Even without a gallbladder, your liver will produce sufficient bile to aid food digestion. However, the bile flows continuously into your digestive system instead of being stored in the gallbladder.
Any special diet you may have followed before the surgery is typically not required after the procedure. Instead, it is advisable to maintain a generally healthy and balanced diet. Following gallbladder removal, some individuals may experience temporary issues such as bloating or diarrhoea. However, these symptoms usually subside within a few weeks. If you notice that certain foods or beverages trigger these symptoms, you may choose to avoid them in the future. Adapting to life without a gallbladder involves making minor adjustments and being mindful of your body's response to different foods and beverages. Most people can resume a regular diet and lead a healthy, active lifestyle with time.
When it comes to gall bladder surgery, you want experienced professionals who can provide exceptional care. At Apex Hospitals, our skilled surgeons have performed countless cholecystectomies, making it a routine procedure for us. Trust us to care for your gall bladder surgery with expertise and compassion.