A gall bladder is an organ that stores bile. Bile is a digestive juice that is secreted from the liver which helps to digest fat. When the concentration of bile gets disturbed, gallstones can form. Gallstones are hard, pebble-shaped stones that get formed in the gallbladder. But if someone is having unbearable pain, the doctor may recommend taking out the gallbladder.
In simpler terms, cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If you are wondering what will happen after the removal of the organ then let me assure you that your digestive process will not be affected even after the gallbladder is taken out.
Causes of gallstones-
Do you know that when unused bile gets hardened from the gallbladder, it results in the formation of these stones? Another cause for the formation of stones in the gallbladder is because of an increase in the cholesterol level. This can be evoked by the following reasons.
- Weight. The risk of developing gallstones is higher in overweight individuals, especially in women.
- Age. People who are over 60 years are more prone to developing gallstones.
- Pregnancy. The secretion of estrogen during pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, and birth control pills increases cholesterol level.
- Genetic. If your family has a history of suffering from gallstones, then you are more likely to have gallstones.
- Skipping meals. Skipping out meals adds increases the risk of gallstones.
Although there are no particular signs or symptoms of gallstones. But if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms then consult with your doctor immediately.
- Below the ribs, you might feel pain on the right-hand side of the body
- You might have back pain or in the right shoulder
- Nausea and vomiting can also occur at times
Treatment for gallstones-
Cholecystectomy can be done using two surgeries- open surgery or laparoscopy. In open cholecystectomy, a large incision of 12-15 inches is made in the abdomen. People undergoing open surgery require a longer hospital stay and recovery time.
With a laparoscopic procedure, a small incision is made through which a small laparoscope is inserted to help the doctor to see inside.
Benefits of laparoscopic surgery-
People prefer undergoing laparoscopic treatment to remove gallstones for its several benefits. These include-
- Avoiding large open wounds or incisions that reduces scarring
- Reduced chances of blood loss, pain, and discomfort. But pain or discomfort can occur depending on the speed of healing and the type of body.
- Early discharge from the hospital, sometimes on the same day of the surgery. But doctors can recommend overnight stay for thorough monitoring.
- Laparoscopic treatment for gallstones ensures there is a reduced risk of infection in the wounds. But infections can develop in some rare cases.
- Patients with a busy schedule opt for laparoscopic treatment as the patients recover faster compared to traditional surgery. You can resume activities within a week or two.
For people who are skeptical of going under-the-knife, doctors suggest the following treatment for them.
- Dissolution- gallstones are dissolved using a chemical. This takes up to two years to cure gallstones. It’s the only solution to people who have complications with general anesthesia.
- Lithotripsy- The stones are broken using ultrasonic shock waves. The broken stones can then pass safely in the stools.
- Endoscopy and fluoroscopy- A fiber-optic camera, also known as an endoscope, is inserted through the mouth and then the bile duct is widened with the help of an electrically heated wire, the stones are then removed.
Recovery after gallstone surgery-
The recovery period depends on the type of surgery you have undergone. Generally, full recovery after open surgery is achieved after 6-8 weeks while after a laparoscopic procedure, it takes only 2 weeks to recover completely.
It is important to be careful initially for a few weeks after removing the gallbladder. You should follow the instructions-
- Avoid eating greasy or fried foods such as chips, fries, pizza, etc.
- Limit caffeine, dairy products.
- Drink at least 1.5-2 liters of water daily
- Avoid lifting heavy weights as this can put pressure on the wounds
- Wear comfortable clothes that are soft and stretchable
- Do little movements like moving around every few hours
The most common problem faced by patients after a gallstone surgery is that they don’t know what to eat and what not to eat. You can try the following diet plan-
- You should increase your fiber intake by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the foods that have high-fiber content are- Beans, Whole wheat bread, Grains, and cereals, Apple, Oranges, Peas, Cauliflowers, Carrots
- Try to choose low-fat dairy products.
You’ll be surprised to know that gallstones can occur at any age. But it is more likely to develop in people with diabetes, women taking contraceptives, losing weight rapidly or individuals whose intake of fat is high. Fortunately, Pristyn Care provides a hassle-free experience to their patients by taking care of the entire process of the surgical procedure. Our doctors have high experience in performing laparoscopic surgeries for gallstones.