Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Surgery
Particularly, one of the most common procedures performed in the United States is a Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Surgery or Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.
Additionally, at IBI Healthcare Institute, we understand that our patients don’t have time for lengthy recoveries and drawn-out procedures. Furthermore, we offer outpatient procedures for FiLaC® Anal Fistulas, SiLaC® Pilonidal Cysts, and Gallbladder Removal procedures.
Historically, surgeons performed this surgery through a 4-6” long incision for gallbladder removal. But today, unless there are demanding circumstances, the majority of surgeons perform it laparoscopically through a small incision near the belly button. Most often, people refer to it as laparoscopic gallbladder removal due to the technique used.
What is a Gallbladder and what does it do?
Moreover, the gallbladder resembles the shape of a pear. It should be noted, it is located just below the liver on the right-hand side. Especially, the liver produces a digestive fluid called bile, and the gallbladder’s primary function is to store and concentrate it.
Then, it releases this fluid into the digestive system through narrow tubular channels called bile ducts. Whereas, it breaks down and absorbs fat from food. Usually, patients do not experience any digestive disturbances due to the removal of their gallbladder.
How do Gallbladder Problems arise?
On the other hand, gallstones form from cholesterol and bile and become small hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. However, they can be as tiny as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball. In addition, they are generally the reason behind gallbladder problems.
Hence, we do not yet know why some individuals are more prone to experience gallstones. But women tend to have a higher instance. Although, the risks of developing gallstones increase for women who have had prior pregnancies, are over 40 years old, or are individuals with heavier body weight.
Although, it is not unusual for an individual to have a family history of gallstones. However, unfortunately, experts do not know of an exact way to prevent gallstones from occurring. Even so, when gallstones occur, they prevent bile from flowing out of the gallbladder which causes it to swell up. Thus, it can create a fever, vomiting, sharp abdominal pain, and sometimes jaundice can occur and the skin turns yellow.
How do Doctors Diagnose and Treat Gallbladder Problems?
What are the Advantages of Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal?
Who is a Candidate for Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal?
Indeed, patients who have advanced gallbladder disease or prior abdominal surgery may not be suitable candidates for gallbladder surgery. Without a doubt, the best way to determine candidacy for gallbladder surgery is through a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified surgeon.
What Preparation is Required Before Gallbladder Removal Surgery?
Unquestionably, your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions to prepare you for your gallbladder removal. Surgeons’ requirements may vary as each patient is unique but some of these prerequisites for surgery may include:
Preoperative testing includes blood work and a full health evaluation. Additionally, an EKG depending on your age and health status.
After you and your surgeon discuss the potential risks and benefits of the operation. Your surgeon will ask you to sign a written consent form for surgery.
Surgeon may ask you to shower the night before with antibiotic soap.
Because you will be undergoing surgery with general anesthesia. you may not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
Your surgeon will instruct you regarding any necessary medications you routinely take.
You will need to stop taking certain prescription drugs, anti-inflammatory medications, and herbal supplements. Such as Vitamin E or St John’s Wort for at least two weeks before surgery.
You will need to quit smoking and arrange for any help you may need at home during your recovery.
How do Surgeons Perform Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal?
Therefore, the steps involved in performing a male or female gallbladder surgery are generally the same but there is a difference in the level of difficulty between genders. Typically, it is more difficult to remove a man’s gallbladder because men tend to have more anatomic anomalies and a higher degree of fibrosis.
General Steps of Gallbladder Removal Surgery
The medical team administers anesthesia to ensure that the patient is asleep during the procedure.
Surgeons create four small incisions in the abdomen.
They inserts a laparoscopy into the abdomen through one of the incisions. It’s a hollow tube-like instrument with an attached video camera.
Using the real-time video as a guide, the surgeon inserts other surgical tools through the other abdominal incisions to remove the gallbladder.
They may choose to perform an imaging test before closing the incisions to ensure there are no gallstone obstructions or bile duct issues.
They close the incisions and move the patients to a recovery room for observation. Afterward, they either discharge them home or transfer them to a hospital room for a stay of between one and three days.
What if Surgeons cannot Remove the Gallbladder Laparoscopically?
Albeit, in a very small number of cases, the surgeon may have to convert a laparoscopic procedure into an open procedure. Besides this, it can happen if inflammation or dense scarring affects the gallbladder. Hence, it may result from previous abdominal surgery.
Nonetheless, if the surgeon experiences visibility issues or bleeding problems during a laparoscopic procedure. Subsequently, they may find it necessary to convert to open gallbladder surgery. Surgeons decided to convert an in-process laparoscopic gallbladder procedure to an open procedure to ensure the safety of the patient.
What can I expect during Recovery from Gallbladder Removal Surgery?
Removal of the gallbladder is considered major abdominal surgery and patients will experience some postoperative pain.
Side effects associated with the use of general anesthesia such as nausea and vomiting.
Encouraged to walk and participate in activities depending on how they feel.
Patients may shower the day following their surgery.
Most patients can return to normal activities within a week including working and driving.
Normally have a follow-up visit with their surgeon after about two weeks.
Some may return home on the same day as their surgery. And some may be required to stay a night or two. This decision is up to the discretion of the surgeon.
Will I have Scarring from the Incisions after Gallbladder Surgery?
The degree of scarring a patient experiences after gallbladder surgery depends on the type of surgery that was performed. The most common form of gallbladder surgery is laparoscopic. It requires about four small incisions on the abdomen which would create minimal scarring. Open gallbladder surgery requires a 4 to 6-inch incision which would create a considerable scar.
What Risks and Complications are Associated with Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Surgery?
Any Surgical procedure has associated risks and complications although the risks of a laparoscopic procedure are greatly reduced. Having said that, many patients who undergo laparoscopic gallbladder surgery experience no complications. And can return to their normal activities very quickly. Granted that, your overall risk factor is affected by your current health condition, the skill of your surgeon, and how well you follow your aftercare instructions.
However, complications resulting from laparoscopic gallbladder surgery are rare but may include:
If you experience any of these symptoms you should contact your surgeon immediately:
How Much Does Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Cost?
The laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery cost will vary depending on factors such as your current health, the nature of the surgical procedure, and the insurance coverage. Nonetheless, it includes the procedure cost as well as the expertise of the licensed, trained, and highly experienced IBI Healthcare surgeon who will be performing this procedure.
Visit our Pricing Page to learn more about self-pay all-inclusive pricing and available financing options for qualified patients.