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Gallbladder removal

What is a gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ below the liver, where the bile  (a fluid produced by the liver) is stored and concentrated before it is released into the small intestine.  The gallbladder is not absolutely necessary for human survival, as bile can reach the small intestine in other ways.

Why is a gallbladder removal needed?

Gallbladder problems are usually caused by the presence of gallstones which are usually small and hard, consisting primarily of cholesterol and bile salts that form in the gallbladder or in the bile duct. These stones may block the flow of bile out of the gallbladder, causing it to swell and resulting in sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, indigestion and, occasionally, fever.

Alternative treatments to break up or dissolve gallstones are largely unsuccessful. Surgical removal of the gallbladder is the time honored and safest treatment of gallbladder disease.

How does the procedure work?

What is a gallbladder?
What is a gallbladder?

The most common surgical removal of the gallbladder is known as cholecystectomy.

The surgeon inserts a tiny video camera and special surgical tools through four small incisions to see inside your abdomen and removes the gallbladder.

Surgeons call this laparoscopic cholecystectomy which requires only a short stay in the hospital.

What are the benefits and risks of the operation?

Cholecystectomy can relieve the pain and discomfort of gallstones. You usually can’t stop gallstones from recurring with conservative treatments, such as dietary modifications. Some people experience mild diarrhea after cholecystectomy, though this usually goes away with time. Most people won’t experience digestive problems after cholecystectomy as your gallbladder isn’t essential to healthy digestion. The risks always depend on the reason of the surgery and the health condition. Cholecystectomy can cause bledding, infection, blood clots, bile leak etc.

Am I a good candidate for a gallbladder removal?

Although there are many advantages to laparoscopic gallbladder removal, the procedure may not be appropriate for some patients who have severe complicated gallbladder disease or previous upper abdominal surgery.

How should I prepare for the surgery?

Before the surgery you need to pay attention to some important instructions like eat nothing the night before the gallbladder removal, stop taking certain medicine and to drink a solution to clean out the intestines. Cholecystectomy is performed using general anesthesia, so you won’t be aware during the procedure.

What shall I do after gallbladder removal?

Only a one-night stay needed in the Medicover Hospital after the surgery, patients usually have minimal post-operative pain. In general, when you go home you can expect that you’re able to eat and drink without pain and are able to walk unaided. It takes about a week to fully recover.

Why is post-operative check-up important after the removal?

A follow-up appointment has to be made to remove the stitches and to check your healing progress one week after the surgery.

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