The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ in the upper right part of the abdomen. It stores the bile containing liquid, bile salts and other substances produced by the liver, which are essential for digesting fatty foods.
Gallstone gallstones are hard crystals that can form in the gallbladder. Crystals are formed when substances found in bile are interlinked. These crystals penetrate the insides of the gallbladder, beginning to grow over time. Gallstones can range in size from small pebbles to large golf balls. The gallbladder may contain one or more gallstones of different sizes.
The most common way to treat gallstones is to remove this organ and this operation is called cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery).
In most cases of cholecystectomy, surgeons use a laparoscope. Laparoscopes are thin, light tubes that show them what is in the abdomen. Surgeons remove the gallbladder by surgical instruments with a small cut on the abdomen.
Cholecystectomy is the surgical process to remove the gallbladder. The operation can be laparoscopic or open. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes small cuts in your abdomen to insert the surgical tools and take out the gallbladder. You can have absolutely normal life after gall bladder removal.
Why should the gallbladder be removed?
Surgery to remove the gallbladder is usually performed to treat gallstones. The imbalance of bile-forming substances causes small stones in the papilla that cause great pain and discomfort.
Gallstones are often not a symptom but sometimes they can block the flow of bile and cause inflammation in the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis) or pancreas (acute pancreatitis).
You may have to face a lot of pain and other symptoms from this condition, such as:
- Sudden and intense abdominal pain
- Feeling sick and being sick
- Yellowing of the skin and yellowing of the eyes (jaundice) yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice)
Gallstones are probably sometimes destroyed by drugs, but in most cases, surgery to remove the gallbladder is the most effective treatment. Even if gallstones are removed by the use of medication, there is a possibility of them recurring.
What happens during gallbladder removal surgery?
There are two main methods of removing a gallbladder:
Laparoscopic (keyhole) cholecystectomy laparoscopic (keyhole) cholecystectomy – placing several small incisions in the abdomen and then using fine-grained surgical instruments to access and remove your gallbladder. There are fewer wounds on the body. It is more prevalent and can be discharged quickly from the hospital.
Open cholecystectomy – This involves making a large incision on the stomach to remove the gallbladder.
Both techniques are performed under general anesthesia which means that you will be sleeping during the operation and will not feel any pain when it is completed.
It usually does not take long to recover from keyhole surgery to remove your gallbladder. Most people can be discharged from the hospital on the same day or the next morning and you may be able to return to normal activities within two weeks.
Open surgery takes longer to recover. You may need to stay in the hospital for three to five days and it may take six to eight weeks before you feel back to normal.
Risk of gallbladder removal surgery
Gallbladder removal surgery is considered a safe procedure, but there is a risk of complications like any type of surgery
Possible complications include:
- Wound infection
- Belly leaking bile into the tummy
- Damage to the bile ducts carrying bile out of the liver
- Blood clots
- Talk to your surgeon about the benefits and risks of surgery before your operation.
Gallbladder Removal Effects
With the gallbladder removed, your health will not be affected. You can live a perfectly normal life without a gallbladder.
Your liver will still give enough bile to digest your food, but instead of being stored in the gallbladder, it goes continuously into your digestive system.
You were advised to eat a particular diet after surgery, but do not need to continue it later. Instead, you should aim for a generally healthy, balanced diet.
Some people face problems such as swelling or diarrhea after surgery, although these problems usually resolve within a few weeks.
Generally, after keyhole surgery you can only do this in a few days:
- You can eat a healthy and balanced diet in general.
- You can go for a walk.
- You can drive up after a week.
- You can have sex again when you feel fine. Do not stress only the wounds.
- You can join the office again after 10 to 14 days.
It may take a while to return to these activities after open gallstone surgery. For example, you cannot drive and join the office until approximately four to eight weeks later.