Mr. Kumar had been suffering from a pain in his abdomen that was intensifying with each passing day. Initially thinking it was indigestion, he tried some home remedies. However, the pain did not go away and he started feeling nauseous. When one night the pain became intolerable and was accompanied by spells of vomiting, he decided to visit a doctor. He was asked to undergo a few tests and abdominal ultrasound revealed stones in his gallbladder. The doctor advised immediate surgery. He said it was advisable to remove the infected gallbladder to avoid future complications. A panicked Mr Kumar was comforted by the doctor, saying that gallbladder surgery or Cholecystectomy was a simple procedure, and could be done laparoscopically, which meant he would be well enough to go home the next day and could go back to his normal life within a week!
It is a procedure/surgery to remove the Gallbladder. It is usually done to treat gallstones and the complications they may cause. A doctor may recommend a cholecystectomy if you have:
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a procedure where small incisions are made to look into the abdomen and remove the gallbladder by using a camera and surgical tools. However, in some patients, one large incision is made in the belly to remove the gallbladder – this is called an open cholecystectomy. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy may not be suitable for all. A surgeon in some cases may start with a laparoscopic approach to remove the gall bladder but may later deem it necessary to make a larger incision due to the presence of scar tissue from a previous operation or other complications.
A cholecystectomy procedure may carry risks like:
Complications may also depend on the overall health of a person and the reason for the cholecystectomy.
A cholecystectomy helps to ease the discomfort and pain caused due to gallstones. Dietary-modifications cannot prevent the recurrence of gallstones as believed by many. Only a cholecystectomy/removal of the gallbladder can prevent gallstones from coming back. Some people experience loose stool following the procedure, which gets better with time.
How quickly one can resume normal activities following a cholecystectomy depends on the overall health condition of the patient and the procedure type selected by the surgeon. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy involves less pain and quicker recovery so the patient can return to work within a few days. Patients undergoing an open cholecystectomy may require a week or so to recover and get back to work.
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