Gall Bladder Surgery
Surgical removal of the gall bladder is known as cholecystectomy, and is performed laparoscopically (keyhole) in almost everyone. In less than 1% of people the keyhole approach cannot be performed and we would need to perform an open incision. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy involves making a small incision in your umbilicus and another 3 tiny incisions in your right upper abdomen. These all usually heal extremely well and can hardly be seen in later years.
The gall bladder is separated from the liver and the cystic duct chich connects it to the bile duct is divided and closed with clips or sutures. We routinely do a cholangiogram, which is an Xray involving injection of dye into the bile duct to dectect whether there are any small stones stuck in the bile duct. If present we remove these at the time of the operation.
The operation is extremely safe and takes about 30 minutes. We would expect you to go home the day afterwards, or even the same day if you are feeling well.
Because the gallbladder has been removed, the body no longer stores bile between meals. In most people, this has little or no effect on digestion.
Most people can return to their normal activities in 3-5 days. We advise having a week off work after the operation to recover fully. If your job requires heavy work or manual labour you should aim to perform light duties for about 3 weeks. There are no special dietary changes required after the surgery.
After your surgery we arrange an appointment for you to see us in the clinic about 2-3 weeks after the operation.