Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluids that form crystals inside the gallbladder The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the abdomen, just beneath the liver. The gallbladder stores and releases bile, a fluid made in the liver that helps in digestion. Gallstones can range from the size of a grain to that of a golf-ball. They block the bile duct causing an inflammation or infection of the gallbladder, which is medically known as Cholecystitis, and can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated.
The bile juice carries wastes like cholesterol and bilirubin which are made from the breakdown of hemoglobin present in the red blood cells which result in the formation of gallstones. When excess cholesterol present in the bile crystallizes, it prevents the gallbladder from emptying properly, causing sudden piercing pain in the abdomen. These gallstones then block the bile ducts in the biliary tract causing a gallbladder attack that can be extremely painful.
Even if you might not suffer from any sort of pain from gallstones initially, they might internally lead you to several complications which can include the following symptoms:
If you are going through any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you might consider suffering from the complications of a possible gallstone attack and should immediately seek medical assistance.
In this stage, the gallbladder appears normally without any adhesions. Although the conditions inside the gallbladder may favour possible gallstone formation, nothing is formed quite yet and you can take certain measures to prevent the potential risks of developing gallstone.
Maintaining your body weight by including high-fibre meals in your diet and getting regular exercise can lower the risk of attaining gallstones. You will have to make sure that your sugar level is in control as people with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting gallstones. Consuming good fats in the form of olive oil, canola oil, and fish can contribute to keeping your gallbladder healthy, and help you in reducing the risk of developing gallstones.
MC Mary Kom: Olympic medalist MC Mary Kom underwent a gallbladder removal surgery after she was rushed to the hospital because of experiencing severe pain due to gallstones back in September, 2013.
Bharti Singh: Popular stand-up comedian Bharti Singh was rushed to Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital after suffering from severe stomach pain, caused due to the presence of several gallstones in her gallbladder back in June, 2017.
Dalai Lama: Nobel-Prize winning Buddhist leader Dalai Lama was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai after complaining about suffering from severe pain and discomfort back in October 2008. Upon diagnosis, it was found out that there were several stones ranging from half-a centimetre to one centimetre in size after which he had to undergo a minimally invasive surgery.
Eric Clapton: Back in the year 2009, rock and roll legend Eric Clapton had to pull himself out of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame concert in New York after suffering from a severe gallstones attack.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra: Indian politician and general secretary of All India Congress Committee Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was found to have gallstones during a routine checkup back in March, 2013, after which, she had to undergo an elective gallbladder surgery.
Myth 1: Gallstones can be flushed out in urine.
Fact: Gallstones develop in the gallbladder and do not pass out in the urine. Urinary stones formed in the kidney can pass out through urine.
Myth 2: Gallbladder surgery is risky and painful.
Fact: While all kinds of surgeries involve a certain percentage of risks, gallstone surgeries are effective and very safe. Being one of the most commonly performed surgeries to remove gallstones, a keyhole/laparoscopic surgery is barely painful.
Myth 3: All gallstones need immediate treatment.
Fact: Gallstones can be left untreated if they do not cause any signs and symptoms. However, it is important to remember that you have gallstones in case they begin to cause problems in the future.
Myth 4: Endoscopy can remove gallstones.
Fact: Endoscopy (ERCP) is helpful only in removing stones which have entered the bile duct from the gallbladder. There is a possibility that the gallstones can recur and removing gallstones by endoscopy has not yet become a routine practice.
Myth 5: Only gallstones are removed during a surgery.
Fact: Gallstones result in poor and abnormal functioning of the gallbladder. The entire gallbladder is removed during surgery as it prevents further inflammation and also reduces the chances of recurrence.
The first ever gallstone removal surgery was performed by German surgeon Carl Johann August Langenbuch on 15th July, 1882 in Berlin, Germany.
The presence of small gallstones in the gallbladder might not cause any significant signs and symptoms initially and certain cases might never require treatment. But, if you are suffering from complications like severe abdominal pain that lasts for almost two hours, nausea and vomiting, without making a delay you should immediately seek medical assistance. Consulting a gastroenterologist or an abdominal surgeon who specialises in the digestive system in this case would be the wisest decision to make.
Based on the conditions and severity of your symptoms, the doctor might treat your gallstones without giving it a surgical approach. However, a non-surgical procedure only works when you are having cholesterol stones. Depending upon the size of the gallstones, you might consider the following methods to get rid of them :
Though insurance is very beneficial to the patient, most of the patients opt for better amenities and services while using health insurance policies to cover the cost of a gallstone surgery. With insurance, the expenses of the treatment may go higher than expectations, but, as the sum is deducted from the insurance, the patient does not feel a burden on his/her shoulder.
The recovery rate is based on a number of given conditions like age, severity of the disease, response of the treatment on the patient’s body, and the type of surgery that the patient undergoes.
With laparoscopic surgery, the patients are usually able to leave the hospital on the same day that the surgical procedure takes place. However, in some cases, the patient might be advised for an overnight stay depending upon their condition. Patients are generally advised to stop performing physical activities like sports, swimming and heavy lifting for at least a week and are usually able to go back to their normal routine within two weeks.
While, in case of an open surgery, a patient has to stay in the hospital for about one to two days and is advised not to carry out any physical activities for a few weeks. It may take 6-8 weeks for a patient to recover fully and return back to performing daily activities.
Although rare, a person may develop abdominal symptoms even after going through a surgery to remove the gallbladder stones, and the signs of developing a postcholecystectomy syndrome may include stomach upset, nausea or vomiting, gas, diarrhea, bloating and persistent pain in the upper right abdomen. Considering the condition, chances of getting the condition back are rare. Typically, the gallstones might reappear within 3 years after going through the surgical procedure. However, one should take adequate measures and follow a healthy and balanced diet that contains refined carbohydrates, less calories and high fibre like that of fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, fish and nuts such as peanuts and cashew reduce the risk of developing gallstones to a higher extent.
On the 7th of November, a 45-year-old woman came to us after complaining of severe abdominal pain for the past 5 days. After our doctor carried out a thorough diagnosis, it was found that the patient had a 20mm gallstone. Dr. Amol Gosavi explained everything about the problem very clearly to the patient. Based on his diagnosis, Dr. Gosavi approached the minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure for the treatment.
Since the laparoscopic procedure is an advanced method of treatment, the surgery was completed smoothly and the patient was prepared for a discharge within the next 6-8 hours of undergoing the surgery. As the patient continues to recover, she has been constantly following up with the doctor ever since and has been properly following the post-operative instructions of the doctor.
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Q1. Will I have any digestive problems after a gallbladder removal surgery?
Normally, a person who has their gallbladder removed will not experience any digestive problems. However, they might face some difficulty in digesting fatty foods for the first month after the surgery. In such cases, it is advised to maintain a low-fat diet.
Q2. What should I eat after a gallbladder removal surgery?
People who go through a gallbladder removal surgery should avoid fatty, greasy or fried food, spicy food, carbonated beverages and any sort of alcoholic drinks.
Q3. Why does my poop smell so bad after gallbladder removal?
Large amounts of bile reaching the colon may cause irritation resulting in diarrhea with a yellow hue due to which some people might experience yellow diarrhea or smelly poop after a gallbladder removal surgery. The increased amount of bile salts can also make one’s bowel movements have a more potent smell as well.
Q4. Does a gallbladder removal shorten life expectancy?
Certainly not. A gallbladder removal surgery may rather increase your life-expectancy as your post-surgery habits force you to make a healthier dietary choice.
Every surgery at Pristyn Care is done using the most advanced medical technology and equipment. Pristyn Care ensures that a patient has a care-filled and hassle-free experience. Being one of the leading health tech startups in India dedicated to simplifying the surgical experience of every patient, we provide end-to-end facilities to our patients and give complete assistance in their treatment journey. You can book an appointment and get in touch with our doctors virtually from the comfort of your home or anywhere by dialing on the given numbers or by filling up the ‘Book Appointment’ form below.
During the initial consultation, the doctor will have a detailed discussion and examine the condition of your gallbladder. After a thorough assessment, the doctor will come up with the best treatment plan for you and take you through all the necessary steps to get your gallstones removed in the most efficient and effective way.