When is surgery necessary for gallstones?
Surgery for gallstones (Cholecystectomy) entirely depends on the severity of your gallstones and if the doctor thinks it is the best treatment for your condition. The laparoscopic surgical process of removing a gallstone is known as cholecystectomy. Cholecystectomy can be done in two ways - open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. Depending on the number of gallstones, the doctor will decide whether to do the surgery to remove the stones alone or to remove the entire gallbladder.
Surgery for gallstones is usually recommended when there are multiple stones formed in the gallbladder. Also, if the patient experiences excruciating pain, the doctor might suggest undergoing surgery for relief from gallstones pain. Surgery is also recommended by the doctor to prevent sepsis, recurrence of gallstones, and other dangerous complications.
Are there any risks of laparoscopic gallbladder removal?
Laparoscopic gallbladder removal or cholecystectomy or gallstone surgery is a safe procedure with a minimal rate of complications on rare occasions. Every surgical treatment carries some amount of risks and complications, but even those are very rare to occur in the case of laparoscopic surgery for the gallbladder.
Some of the complications that have been reported by patients are:
- injury to the blood vessels
- blood clots
- internal bleeding
- side-effects of anesthesia
- injury to the bile duct
These problems are rare to occur and could be entirely prevented if the patient undergoes the surgery in the hands of an experienced laparoscopic surgeon.
How to prepare for laparoscopic gallbladder removal?
Before the laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, the surgeon may ask the patient to undergo a few tests including:
- blood tests
- ultrasound of the gallbladder
- an imaging test of the whole abdomen
Additionally, the doctor may also ask for your medical history and if you are taking any medicines or supplements. Before the surgery, it is important for the patient to tell the doctor everything about the medications and if he or she is facing any underlying health complications. On the day of the surgery, the patient should get someone to accompany him or her during the surgery and to drive back home. The patient should not eat or drink anything for few hours before laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. The patient should also carry basic amenities on the surgery in case it requires him or her to stay at the hospital for a day or two.
How is a laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery performed?
Laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder removal is performed under the influence of general anesthesia. The surgeon will place a tube inside the throat of the patient connecting with a ventilator that helps the patient breathe.
In laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder removal, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the abdomen and guides a tube attached with a lighted camera through it. The camera helps the surgeon get a clearer view of the abdomen.
The abdomen is inflated with gas so that the surgery can be carried out easily. Through the tiny incisions, the surgeon removes the gallbladder and closes the incision. After the surgery, the patient will be transferred to a private room where the vital signs are monitored. If there are no complications, the patient will be allowed to return home within 48 hours.
Foods after gallbladder removal surgery - what to eat and what to avoid?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ which is located beneath the liver, on the right side. The gallblader helps in digesting fatty foods. After the gallbladder is removed, the liver will continue to make enough bile, but the patient might face problem in processing the fatty foods. Hence, doctors suggest the patients avoid fried and spicy foods, high-fat foods, and foods that can cause gas.
After gallbladder removal, the patients should eat -
- High-fiber foods such as oats, peas, beans, barley, lentils, nuts, sprouts
- Immunity boosting fruits and vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, brussels, spinach, tomatoes, kale, avocadoes, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
- Lean meats such as salmon, chicken breast, turkey, trout, tofu
- Foods rich in healthy fats such as milk, yoghurt, mayonnaise, ice cream
Avoid the following foods after gallbladder removal surgery:
- red meat steak
- full-fat cheese
- full-fat yoghurt
- processed bread
- cinnamon rolls
- caffeinated beverages