Surgical Treatment for Gall Bladders

Gallbladder problems are usually the result of gallstones, which may block the flow of bile. Some gall stones are silent and do not cause any symptoms. These stones do not require any treatment.

When to have surgery
If your gallstones are causing you pain, indigestion or nausea and vomiting your doctor may recommend surgery. Your gallbladder may need to be removed because it, or the bile duct, is inflamed. If you have complications, such as a gangrene or perforation of your gallbladder, you may need to have surgery immediately. The surgery is called a cholecystectomy

What to expect during surgery
Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the U.S. Laparoscopic surgery is the most common procedure to remove your gall bladder.

  • The surgeon makes three tiny incisions in the abdominal wall.
  • The surgical area is inflated with a gas. This allows the surgeon to insert the instruments and to see inside.
  • The laparoscope is inserted into one incision, while small surgical instruments are inserted in the other incisions. The laparoscope is a long thin tube with a camera attached on the end that allows your surgeon to view on a monitor the movement of the instruments.
  • A laser may be used to cauterize tissue to stop bleeding.
  • The gall bladder is separated and removed.
  • In a conventional or open cholecystectomy, the gallbladder is removed through a surgical incision high in the right abdomen, just beneath the ribs.
  • A drain may be inserted at the surgical site to prevent the accumulation of fluid. 

Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Surgery  

Recovery
After having your gall bladder removed, you may stay in the hospital for 3-5 days.

You can expect:

  • That Riverside staff will have you up and moving around soon after your surgery.
  • To be given fluid intravenously for a time after the surgery.
  • You can expect to be sore for the first day or two after your surgery.
  • Your surgeon and the staff to give you instructions for your recovery period at home. Be sure to follow them carefully.
  • To be asked to make a follow up visit to your surgeon in the weeks after the surgery.
  • To be away from work for several weeks. Ask your surgeon how long he or she recommends you stay at home.

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