The gallbladder is located in the upper right side of the abdomen. The small organ’s primary function is to store bile, a fluid that aids in the digestion of fats. In some cases, the gallbladder may need to be removed due to gallstones or other conditions that can cause pain and discomfort.
Gallbladder removal, also known as cholecystectomy, can be performed in two ways: laparoscopic and open cholecystectomy.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most common and less invasive option. The surgeon will make four small incisions in the abdomen during the procedure and insert a laparoscope. This tiny camera allows the surgeon to view the gallbladder on a monitor. Surgical instruments are then inserted through the incisions to remove the gallbladder. This procedure typically takes about an hour, and patients can usually go home the same day.
In open cholecystectomy, a single large incision is made in the abdomen, and the gallbladder is removed through that incision. This procedure is less common and is typically reserved for cases where the gallbladder is severely inflamed or infected. The recovery time is longer, and patients usually need to stay in the hospital for a few days.
After gallbladder stone removal surgery, patients can expect to spend a few hours in the recovery room before being discharged from the hospital. Having a friend or family member drive the patient home is essential, as driving is not allowed for at least 24 hours after surgery.
During the first few days, it is normal to experience pain or discomfort in the abdomen, and patients may be prescribed pain medication. It is essential to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon and avoid strenuous activities until the recovery process is complete.
Patients will need to make some dietary changes during the recovery period. They will be advised to avoid fatty and spicy foods for a few weeks and gradually reintroduce them into their diet. Patients may also experience diarrhoea after surgery, which should improve with time.
Like any surgery, gallbladder removal carries some potential side effects. Some common side effects include:
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen, shoulder, or back
- Diarrhoea or loose stools
- Nausea or vomiting
- Bloating or gas
These side effects are typically mild and can be managed with medication or dietary adjustments. However, patients should contact a gallbladder stone specialist in Chennai or nearby if they experience severe symptoms such as fever, excessive vomiting, or severe abdominal pain.
In rare cases, gallbladder removal surgery can lead to more severe complications. These can include:
- Injury in the bile duct, liver, or small intestine
- Blood clots
- Allergic reaction to anaesthesia
It is essential to follow the post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon to minimise the risk of complications.
Gallbladder removal is a common procedure that can relieve pain and discomfort caused by gallstones or other conditions. While the operation is relatively safe and minimally invasive, it is vital to understand the potential side effects and recovery process.
Patients should discuss the benefits and risks of gallbladder removal with their surgeon and prepare for recovery by arranging for help at home and following dietary guidelines. With the correct information and support, patients can have a successful recovery and return to their normal activities without the pain and discomfort caused by gallbladder issues