Cholecystectomy or Gallbladder removal surgery is a very common medical procedure to remove the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ which is located below the liver on the right top side of the abdomen and is responsible for storing bile – a fluid produced by the liver for effective digestion.
A cholecystectomy is a very common surgical procedure with minimum complications and shorter hospital stays – generally, patients can go home the same day.
Cholecystectomy can be performed to treat any of the below conditions:
Though safe, certain complications can arise in a cholecystectomy, such as below:
Moreover, a person might experience certain digestive problems after the removal of the gallbladder. These complications include:
The risks of cholecystectomy vary case-to-case and depend on the overall health and reason for the surgery.
To prepare for the gallbladder surgery, the surgeon will recommend the patient not eat anything the night before the surgery. In some cases, four hours on an empty stomach is also viable for the procedure. Moreover, to ensure the surgery is effective, the surgeon will also recommend stopping the intake of certain medications and supplements since they could increase the chances of bleeding.
It is advisable for the patient to wear loose and comfortable clothing and be prepared to spend at least one night at the hospital. However, in most cases, the patient is discharged on the same day of the surgery but is not allowed to drive back or leave without assistance.
Gallbladder surgery is performed by keeping the patient under the influence of anaesthesia, which is given through a vein in the arm. Once, the patient is administered anaesthesia, a thin, flexible tube is inserted down the throat to enable easy breathing.
Depending on the condition of the patient and medical history, the surgeon may recommend one of the two methods of gallbladder removal surgery.
Recovery of the patient is dependent on the type of surgery performed.
Laparoscopic surgery: In this type of gallbladder removal surgery, the patient can generally go home the same day since the pain is very bearable. Though in cases where complications arise, the patient might be required to stay a night at the hospital for monitoring. A full recovery will take about a week but a patient can eat, drink or walk unaided after the surgery.
Open surgery: In the case of open surgery, the patient might need to stay in the hospital for two to three days to ensure a speedy recovery. A full recovery will take approximately six to eight weeks.
Post a cholecystectomy, a patient will feel relieved from pain and discomfort caused due to gallstones or other related problems such as inflammation. This method also prevents gallstones from recurring, unlike other conservative approaches including diet modifications.
In some cases, people might feel certain complications after the surgery; however, digestive problems are rare complications since the gallbladder is not essential for healthy digestion. That said, common problems such as loose stool or constipation can last for a day or two but will eventually be normal.
Patients can resume normal activities in a matter of days; however, the exact duration depends on the type of surgical procedure and complications, if any. Moreover, it is advisable to consult the doctor in case of any issues or before resuming normal activities.