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Gallbladder Surgery

Surgery And Removal:


A diseased gallbladder or gallstones may be removed through a laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure air is first sent into the abdomen to expand it and then a laparoscope is inserted into the region near the navel. The laparascope has a small video camera attached to it which helps the surgeon to see the the gallbladder on a huge TV screen. However before the gallbladder is removed an X-ray procedure called intraoperative cholangiography may be doneto view the structure of the bile duct system and to check for the presence of gallstones in the common bile duct. After the X- ray is done, the surgeon would then make incisions and use his surgical tools to remove the gallbladder.

Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is usually the preferred procedure for removal of gallbladder but in some cases an open surgery may be done instead. Infact about 20% of all laparoscopic surgeries in the US are switched to an open surgery. This may be due to reasons such as sudden inflammation, tissue damage or bleeding. After surgery is completed you may experience certain side effects such as pain in the shoulder and the belly region for a couple of days due to the air that was sent in prior to surgery.  Muscle pain, diarrhea, and lack of hunger may also be experienced. These side effects and discomfort should clear within a week or two.

Compared to an open surgery, a laparoscopic cystectomy is generally preferred because after gallbladder surgery the recovery time is much quicker and the scars are also much smaller and hence less visible. Recovery from laparascopic gallbladder surgery would take about a week whereas in the case of open surgery it may about about a month. However the procedure does not remove gallstones present in the common bile duct. If gallstones are present in the comon bile duct, a procedure known a endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) may be done.

Complications from a laparascopic gallbladder surgery are very rare but they can occur. Possible complications include injury to the bile ducts and blood vessels, internal damage, bile leakage, liver damage and bleeding.

Next: Read about gallbladder diet

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