What is laparoscopic gallbladder surgery?
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is the removal of your gallbladder. This is a common method for treating gallstones and gallbladder infections. The procedure is done by the surgeon making small incisions in your abdomen. Using a laparoscope, the surgeon watches a close-up view of the organs and tissues on the monitor and performs the operation by using surgical instruments through small cuts.
Why laparoscopic gallbladder surgery?
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery may be required if you experience pain or other symptoms resulting from gallstones. You may also need to undergo this surgery if your gallbladder is not functioning normally. As compared to traditional methods, laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure with smaller incisions. It involves lower risk of complication, less pain, less scarring and a faster recovery and return to normal activities for the patient.
What will happen if my gallbladder is removed?
The gallbladder is an organ that can be removed without affecting your ability to digest food.Without a gallbladder, you can lead a perfectly normal and healthy life. Most people who undergo surgery to remove their gallbladder do not have any problems with biliary function thereafter. This is because the body is able to cope with losing its additional storage space for bile by filling the bile ducts, which transport bile from the liver to the small intestine. With less space to store bile, bile is constantly being delivered into your intestine.
What will my diet be like after my gallbladder is removed?
For the first few days after your gallbladder is removed, consume a high-fiber, low-fat diet. A healthy meal will consist of small amounts of lean protein e.g. fish, poultry or non-fat dairy as well as fruits,vegetables and whole grains. Foods that contain high fiber will help to normalize bowel movements.Avoid fatty food such as fried and oily foods. Eat smaller and more frequent portions. This will help to ease digestion and prevent abdominal discomfort and other side effects.
Am I suitable for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery?
Most people are suitable candidates for this surgery. However, if you have previously had surgery in your abdomen, bleed a lot or if you have any issue that would make it hard for your doctor to see your gallbladder, an open surgery may work better for you. Your doctor will assess you and decide which type of surgery is more suitable for you.
What to expect?
Before the procedure
- Follow instructions about when to stop eating and drinking.
- Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with small sips of water.
- Stop all regular medications unless absolutely necessary under a doctor’s supervision. This will lower your risk of bleeding during surgery.
- Refrain from smoking and alcohol.
During the procedure
- The operation requires only four small incisions in the abdomen.
- Your surgeon will advise you on the specific details.
After the procedure
- If you do not have any problems, and once you are able to drink fluids easily and your pain can be controlled with painkillers, you will be discharged on the day of the procedure or the next day.
- Schedule a follow up appointment with your doctor within two to three weeks of the procedure.
- You will likely be able to resume daily activities within a week.