The gallbladder is a small organ located next to the liver in the abdomen. The gallbladder assists in digestion and the breakdown of food. The gallbladder also secretes a substance known as bile through a small tube called a bile duct. At times, the gallbladder can become diseased and for unknown reasons begin malfunctioning and requiring Gallbladder Surgery.
Gallbladder Removal Surgery
Symptoms of an inflamed or infected gallbladder are sharp pain in the abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. Gallbladder problems tend to be caused by gallstones that are small hard pieces of cholesterol and bile still that form in the bile duct or gallbladder. When this occurs, patients may also experience jaundice or yellowing of the skin. There are a few risk factors for developing gallstones. These include a previous pregnancy, being overweight, being female and being over age 40. There are no known methods for preventing gallstones and in some cases, gallbladder removal is the best option. The diagnosis of gallstones is made through CT scans or ultrasounds. Symptoms usually come and go until the gallbladder is removed. The operation is performed laparoscopically. Most patients make good candidates for this type of gallbladder surgery. If a patient has had previous upper abdominal surgery or those with severe gallbladder disease, they may not be suitable candidates for the laparoscopic procedure and may require an open surgery. This decision is made by the patient and surgeon.
The removal of the gallbladder is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States and is a very safe procedure. The patient is under general anesthesia for the operation. During the procedure, a small laparoscope connected to a small camera is inserted through the cannula that gives the surgeon a magnified view of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is then removed. After the operation, most patients return home the next day. The risks are low for gallbladder removal surgery and include bleeding and infection.
Patients who have a gallbladder removal surgery return to their normal activities within a few weeks. Most experience minimal pain and their symptoms from gallstones are resolved. Patients who undergo this operation usually experience no complication related to their digestion following the procedure.