Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure to remove gallbladder – a pear-shaped organ that sits just below liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder collects and stores bile – a digestive fluid produced in liver.
Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. The operation is done to remove the gallbladder due to gallstones causing pain or infection. Cholecystectomy is most commonly performed by inserting a tiny video camera and special surgical tools through four small incisions to see inside your abdomen and remove the gallbladder. Doctors call this laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In some cases, one large incision may be used to remove the gallbladder. This is called an open cholecystectomy.
Cholecystectomy is used to treat gallstones and the complications they cause. Cholecystectomy may be recommended in the following conditions:
To prepare for cholecystectomy, your surgeon may ask you to:
Cholecystectomy is performed using general anesthesia, so you won’t be aware during the procedure. Anesthesia drugs are given through a vein in your arm. Once the drugs take effect, your health care team will insert a tube down your throat to help you breathe. Your surgeon then performs the cholecystectomy using either a laparoscopic or open procedure.
Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy
Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a newer type of keyhole surgery used to remove the gallbladder.
Only one small cut (incision) is made, which means the scar left is barely visible.
During laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon makes four small incisions in your abdomen. A tube with a tiny video camera is inserted into your abdomen through one of the incisions. Your surgeon watches a video monitor in the operating room as special surgical tools are inserted through the other incisions in your abdomen and your gallbladder is removed.
Next you’ll undergo an imaging test, such as X-ray or ultrasound, to check your bile duct for abnormalities. If your surgeon finds gallstones or other problems in your bile duct, those may be remedied. Then your incisions are sutured, and you’re taken to a recovery area. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy takes one or two hours.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy isn’t appropriate for everyone. In some cases your surgeon may begin with a laparoscopic approach and find it necessary to make a larger incision because of scar tissue from previous operations or complications.
During open cholecystectomy your surgeon makes a 6-inch (15-centimeter) incision in your abdomen below your ribs on your right side. The muscle and tissue are pulled back to reveal your liver and gallbladder. Your surgeon then removes the gallbladder. The incision is sutured, and you’re taken to a recovery area. Open cholecystectomy takes one or two hours.
You’ll be taken to a recovery area as the anesthesia drugs wear off. Then you’ll be taken to a hospital room to continue recovery. Recovery varies depending on your procedure:
Prognosis / Outcome:
Cholecystectomy can relieve the pain and discomfort of gallstones. Conservative treatments, such as dietary modifications, usually can’t stop gallstones from recurring. Cholecystectomy is the only way to prevent gallstones.
Some people experience mild diarrhea after cholecystectomy, though this usually goes away with time. Most people won’t experience digestive problems after cholecystectomy. Your gallbladder isn’t essential to healthy digestion.
How quickly you can return to normal activities after cholecystectomy depends on which procedure your surgeon uses and your overall health. People undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy may be able to go back to work in a matter of days. Those undergoing open cholecystectomy may need a week or more to recover enough to return to work.
Living without a gallbladder
You can lead a perfectly normal life without a gallbladder. The organ can be useful, but it’s not essential. Your liver will still produce bile to digest food.
However, some people who have had their gallbladder removed have reported symptoms of bloating and diarrhoea after eating fatty or spicy food. If certain foods do trigger symptoms, you may wish to avoid them in the future.
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped pouch in the upper right part of your abdomen (tummy). It stores bile, the digestive fluid produced by the liver that helps to break down fatty foods.
Bile is made from cholesterol, bile salts and waste products. When these substances are out of balance, small, hard stones called gallstones can form. Gallstones often cause no symptoms and in many cases remain undetected.
However, in a small number of cases gallstones can become trapped in a duct (an opening or channel), irritate and inflame the gallbladder, or move out of the gallbladder and into other parts of the body.
This can lead to a range of symptoms, such as:
There are several non-surgical ways to break down gallstones, but they are only effective in around less than 1 in 10 cases and are rarely a viable option.
For most people with painful gallstones, it is recommended that their gallbladder is removed.
In open cholecystectomy, the gallbladder is removed through one large incision in your abdomen. This technique is called open surgery. It is a more invasive operation than keyhole surgery. You need to be in hospital for longer and it takes longer to recover.
Open surgery is now usually only used if there are medical reasons why laparoscopic cholecystectomy cannot be safely performed, or if the surgeon decides that it would be safer to switch to open surgery during the procedure (this is known as conversion).
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure during which the doctor removes your gallbladder. This procedure uses several small incisions (cuts) instead of one large one.
A laparoscope, a narrow tube with a camera, is inserted through one incision. This allows your doctor to see your gallbladder on a TV screen. Your gallbladder is then removed through another small incision.
The procedure is used when you have stones in your gallbladder.
Your gallbladder stores bile, a fluid made by your liver. Bile helps digest fats in the foods you eat. Gallstones can block the flow of bile in your digestive system. This blockage can cause bloating, nausea, vomiting, and pain in your abdomen, shoulder, back, or chest. Gallstones can also block the ducts that channel the bile from the liver or gallbladder to the intestine. Gallstones can cause the gallbladder to become infected. A blockage in the common bile duct can cause jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes) or irritate the pancreas.
A general anesthetic is given to relax your muscles, prevent pain, and help you fall asleep. Your abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide, a harmless gas. [A cholangiogram (a special X-ray) is done to check for stones in your common bile duct]. The laparoscope is then inserted through an incision in your navel, so your doctor can look inside.
Other instruments are then inserted through additional small incisions. Your gallbladder is removed through one of these incisions.
The risk of complications is very low, however, potential risks might include:
Call your physician if you experience:
A general anesthetic is given to relax your muscles, prevent pain, and help you fall asleep. A single incision is made below the right side of your rib cage or in the center of the abdomen. Through the incision, your gallbladder and surrounding anatomy can be seen. The gallbladder is detached from its attachments, and the blood supply is tied off and divided. Sometimes a cholangiogram (a special X-ray) is conducted to check for stones in the common bile duct. If there are stones in the common bile duct, they are removed at this time. The skin is closed using surgical clips and sutures.
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