Have you ever wondered what aids the process of your digestion? One of the organs which play a major in this process is the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a prominent digestive gland, which collects and releases bile, which is a digestive fluid that helps in the metabolization of fats.
What are gallstones?
Although the gallbladder is useful to the digestive system, it can pose a few risks due to unusual symptoms, such as the occurrence of gallstones. Gallstones are hard stones which comprise of bile pigments, cholesterol and calcium salts, which can develop inside your gallbladder.
Gallbladder surgery and its types
Although gallstones could be there without causing any kind of harm, they can also be a symptom of gallbladder cancer. In case they develop in the duct, they can block the flow of bile and cause severe pain.
Gallstone surgery will need to be performed in this case, where the gallbladder will be removed, to get rid of the gallstones. The medical term for it is cholecystectomy. There are two kinds of gallbladder removal surgery.
This laparoscopic gallstone cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive procedure. During this procedure, four tiny cuts will be made in your abdomen and through one of these cuts, a tube that holds a camera and light will be inserted. Then through the other three incisions, surgical tools will be inserted to enable the removal of the gallbladder, by seeing through the camera inserted.
In this procedure, a 6-inch cut will be made below your ribs, on the abdomen and the surgeon removes the gallbladder through this incision. The entire procedure takes around 1 or 2 hours.
Your recovery depends on the kind of surgery you’re going to have. Laparoscopic gallstone surgery is less invasive, and hence, in most cases, patients will be allowed to go back home on the same day. There is also less pain associated with this, and the healing is much faster. With open cholecystectomy, you might have to stay back in the hospital for a few days. While laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients recover within two weeks, the ones who have had to go through open surgery might take 6 to 8 weeks.
Even after the removal of your gallbladder, bile is still be produced for the digestion of food. However, you might find it hard to digest fat. If you have your gallbladder removed, here are a few tips that will help you recover.
Gallbladder surgery recovery tips
1. Go slow with the diet
Don’t start with solid food right after your surgery. Healing is a slow process, and it needs time. You can start with clear liquids, gelatin, and broth at first. And then with time, you can slowly include solid food in your diet.
2. Avoid fats
After your surgery, it is advisable to avoid any kinds of foods that are fried or contain a lot of fat. Other food items to avoid include those that have strong odors or cause gas. Also, you must eat small portions of meals frequently instead of large meals. The fat that you consume should not be more than 30% of the total calories you consume.
3. Go easy on exercising
Start with gentle exercises such as walking. Consult your GP before you decide on moving on to more strenuous ones.
You shouldn’t drive for at least a week after surgery. Before you get back to it, make sure you can wear the seatbelt and halt in emergencies.
5. Keep a journal
Maintain a journal and track your recovery. This will help you realize what you can eat and what impact it has on you.
Although gallbladder surgery is a commonly performed, low-risk surgery, you shouldn’t ignore your recovery plan. A good plan can go a long way in keeping you on the right track. Stick to a plan and follow it up to avoid digestive issues after your surgery.