Cholecystectomy (removal of gallbladder)
Cholecystectomy is a surgical removal of the gallbladder, a small organ located under the liver. The gallbladder is responsible for collecting and releasing bile, a fluid that is used in the digestion of food and produced by the liver. A cholecystectomy is usually performed when the gallbladder is inflamed, blocked, diseased, cancerous or contains gallstones. Untreated gallstones can cause complications such as biliary colic, commonly known as gallbladder attack, cholecystitis or inflammation of the gallbladder, cholangitis or infection of the bile duct, gangrene, jaundice, pancreatitis, sepsis, fistula, ileus or bowel obstruction, and cancer.
In recent years, cholecystectomies are almost always performed laparoscopically. This minimally invasive procedure results in less scarring, less pain and a much speedier recovery for the patient than the previously performed open cholecystectomy. In a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, there are several small incisions made, instead of one large one, in order for the surgeon to removed the gallbladder. This surgery usually permits the patient to return home the same day and facilitates much more rapid healing. Because laparoscopic surgery is a simpler procedure than open abdominal surgery, there is less risk of complications, such as the development of infection.
While laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder is a very safe procedure, as with all surgeries, possible complications may occur. Excessive bleeding, allergic reaction to anesthesia, post-surgical infection, deep vein thrombosis -- the development of a clot in the leg, injury to adjacent organs -- are all rare occurrences, but should be discussed with the physician before the operation.
In laparoscopic cholecystectomy, there are also risks of the following:
- Injury to the bile duct or other adjacent organs
- Bile leakage
- Post cholecystectomy syndrome
Approximately one in seven patients continue to experience periods of abdominal or back pain, indigestion, diarrhea, and, in extreme cases, fever and jaundice. Post cholesystectomy syndrome is thought to result from bile leakage into the stomach or bile duct, or from a stone or stones remaining in the bile duct. Medications may help these problems and usually this condition resolves itself in a few months without further surgical intervention.
Recovery from laparoscopic cholecystectomy is generally smooth and uneventful. In most cases, the patient is able to return to normal activities in a week and is back to full pre-surgical wellness within two to three weeks. The patient is able to resume a normal diet almost immediately after the surgical procedure.
To learn more about our Cholecystectomy (removal of gallbladder) Services, please contact us at (516) 627-5262 today to schedule an appointment.