Gallstones are the most common gallbladder problem that patients have today. Gallstones cause serious abdominal pain, and sometimes also cause nausea or vomiting, particularly after eating a high-fat meal.
The most effective treatment for gallstones is typically the laparoscopic cholecystectomy. During this surgical procedure, the doctor removes the gallbladder. A laparoscope, a tiny camera that lights up and magnifies the area where it's inserted, is placed in the abdomen through a very small incision to guide the surgeon while they work. Other surgical tools are placed through additional small incisions. The gallbladder is then removed through 1 of these incisions, taking the gallstones and pain with it. There are also cases where the gallbladder is too large to remove laparoscopically. In these situations, a larger incision is created and an open cholecystectomy removes the gallbladder. Surgical removal of the gallbladder is the best, and in fact, the only way to effectively deal with gallstones that cause pain.
The doctors at Association of South Bay Surgeons always provide patients with specific instructions to help them prepare for the surgery. The night before the procedure, patients should eat only a light meal. Patients shouldn't eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of the procedure. If patients need to take medication, they can check with their doctor to determine whether it's okay to have a sip of water for this purpose.
General anesthesia, which puts the patient completely to sleep, is used for gallbladder surgery.
The majority of gallbladder procedures are done on an outpatient basis. Patients typically experience some discomfort around the incision, nausea, and possibly shoulder pain for 1-3 days post-surgery. Most people are able to go back to their usual routine after 5-10 days. With a relatively small amount of downtime and very minimal scarring, gallbladder procedures offer a great benefit to the patient: a life free of chronic abdominal pain.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!