Patient Information for Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal (Cholecystectomy
Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under your liver that stores and concentrates bile to help digest fat.
Gallbladder disease includes: inflammation, infection, or blockage (obstruction) of the gallbladder.
The most common blockage is a gallstone. Gallstones are pebble-like and solid. They can be as large as a golf ball or as small as a grain of sand.
Gallbladder disease is very common, affecting about 10-15% of population.It is more common in women who are obese and people over age 40.
Symptoms of gallbladder disease may include: pain in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen, fullness, clay-colored stool, fever, nausea and vomiting, or yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice).
Gallbladder removal is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures . Today, gallbladder surgery is performed laparoscopically. The medical name for this procedure is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.
WHAT CAUSES GALLBLADDER PROBLEMS?
Gallbladder problems are usually caused by the presence of gallstones: small hard masses consisting primarily of cholesterol and bile salts that form in the gallbladder or in the bile duct.
It is uncertain why some people form gallstones. There is no known means to prevent gallstones. These stones may block the flow of bile out of the gallbladder, causing it to swell and resulting in sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, indigestion and, occasionally, fever.If the gallstone blocks the common bile duct, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin) can occur.
HOW ARE THESE PROBLEMS FOUND AND TREATED?
Ultrasound is most commonly used to find gallstones. In a few more complex cases, CT scan may be used to evaluate gallbladder disease. Gallstones do not go away on their own. Surgical removal of the gallbladder is the time honored and safest treatment of gallbladder disease.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PERFORMING THE PROCEDURE LAPAROSCOPICALLY?
Rather than a five to seven inch incision, the operation requires only four small openings in the abdomen.Minimal post-operative pain. Faster recovery than open gallbladder surgery patients.Most patients go home within one day and enjoy a quicker return to normal activities.
HOW IS LAPAROSCOPIC GALLBLADDER REMOVAL PERFORMED?
Under general anesthesia, so the patient is asleep throughout the procedure. Using a PORT(a narrow tube-like instrument), the surgeon enters the abdomen in the area of the belly-button. A laparoscope (a tiny telescope) connected to a special camera is inserted through the cannula, giving the surgeon a magnified view of the patient’s internal organs on a screen. Other PORTS are inserted which allows surgeon to delicately separate the gallbladder from its attachments and then remove it through one of the openings.
After the surgeon removes the gallbladder, the small incisions are closed with a stitch or two or with surgical tape.