Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

There are times in which a person may need his or her gallbladder removed. One of the ways this is done is by having a cholecystectomy. When the procedure is performed by using the advanced method of laparoscopic technology it is referred to as having a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This method involves removing the gallbladder through a small incision at the navel.

During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy a patient receives general anesthesia so they are asleep during the surgery. The surgeon then makes a small incision at the end of the navel. A thin tube is inserted into the incision. This tube is carrying a small video camera that allows the surgeon to see inside the body. When the surgeon inflates the abdomen with carbon dioxide, it allows room in the abdomen for viewing the gallbladder. The carbon dioxide also allows the surgeon plenty of room to perform the surgery. Once the camera is in place, the surgeon inserts two instruments similar to needles into the abdomen. These instruments aid the surgeon by moving the intestine, picking up the gallbladder and basically acting as a spare set of hands during the surgery. The surgeon then inserts the instruments needed to clip the gallbladder artery and bile duct. He or she will remove the gallbladder and pull it out through the tiny incision made at the navel. There are usually no stitches required since the incisions are so tiny and they typically leave very small scars. The surgery usually lasts anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

This type of procedure has become the most preferred by both the doctor and patient. The recovery process is much quicker than the previous methods used to remove gallbladders. Most patients are up and about in no time, with little discomfort at the incision sites. About 90% of patients are able to leave the hospital the same day and recover at home with no complications. Returning to work and regular activity is usually okay after only a few days.

As with any surgery there are always risks involved. Although uncommon, there can be a complication with the common bile duct. The common bile duct connects the gallbladder and the liver. If this is injured it can leak bile and cause a serious infection along with a lot of pain. If this occurs it may be necessary to have corrective surgery. Other possible complications can include finding a gallbladder that has become gangrenous. These types of gallbladders can get in the way of the surgeon’s vision and therefore the standard cholecystectomy must be performed. Some gallbladders can also have adhesions that have grown on them and this can also cause a conflict in the laparoscopic cholecystecomy.

When it comes to having your gallbladder removed you should find a surgeon that is experienced in performing these types of surgeries. Make sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding the surgery or post operative care. Knowing what to expect is always very important. It is a good idea to have a family member or friend available to care for you at least 24 hours post surgery to insure that you have no complications. You should get plenty of rest after any type of surgery to allow your body time to heal. Follow all of your doctors post operative directions to avoid any complications from occurring after surgery. If you do have any problems after surgery it is imperative to inform your doctor immediately.

After gallbladder removal you should avoid foods that are high in fat. These foods require more bile than other foods and therefore may be harder to digest once the gallbladder in no longer intact.

Last updated on Sep 15th, 2009 and filed under Medical Treatment. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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