Gallbladder laparoscopic surgery is a procedure to remove the gallbladder using the laparoscope in case of various gallbladder-related disorders, the most common being gallstones. This technique is the Gold standard for removing the gallbladder and is preferred over the traditional (open) surgical method. Also, laparoscopic gallbladder removal is more specific and associated with fewer complications. Removing the gallbladder does not affect the digestion process.
How is gallbladder laparoscopic surgery is performed?
Gallbladder Laparoscopic Surgery is performed under sedatives and anaesthesia to block the pain and sensation. Your surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdominal wall. The laparoscope (instrument with a small camera) is inserted through the incision to create images for guiding the surgeon to examine the disorder and access the target area. The video-assisted surgery helps the surgeon monitor the instruments inserted through the small incision, and the gallbladder is separated from the liver, vessels, and ducts. The gallbladder is then removed through one of the small incisions. The incisions are closed, and being minimally invasive, there is a very low risk of muscle or tissue damage.
Preparation for Gallbladder Laparoscopic Surgery
- Before undergoing laparoscopic gallbladder removal, your surgeon will recommend you undergo certain blood tests and a pre-anaesthesia check-up (PAC), including a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and a physical examination to assess your suitability for the surgery. In addition, you will undergo an abdominal ultrasound and urine analysis.
- To avoid complications during the gallbladder laparoscopic surgery, you should eat light food the day before surgery and fast for at least 6-8 hours before the surgery.
- Inform your doctor about all your medications, and you could be asked to discontinue blood-thinning medications. Also, you could be prescribed certain medications to calm your nerves.
- You should reach the hospital 2-4 hours before the surgery as you will be kept under observation for some time.
Usually, your surgeon will give a follow-up chart to follow until your incision and wounds have healed. Make sure to adhere to the follow-up plan with your surgeon to assess the recovery and the need for any additional interventions. In addition, you should take proper rest as recommended by your doctor and do not overexert yourself. Avoid bending and seek help from your family members or friends. You can start returning to your routine activities in a few weeks. Start with walking daily. However, avoid strenuous exercises such as running, weight lifting, etc., for additional few weeks. Eat healthy and light food, drink plenty of water, and take your medications as prescribed.
Risks For Gallbladder Laparoscopic Surgery
Gallbladder Laparoscopic surgery is safer than open surgery. However, the following risks could be associated with laparoscopic surgery:
- Bleeding from the incision site or surrounding tissues/organs
- Incision site infections could occur, and you might need antibiotic treatment following the surgery.
In addition, surgery could be associated with the following side effects:
- Urinary tract infections
- Bile leakage
- Surgical area numbness
- Scars at the incision sites
- Damage to nearby organs such as liver, intestine, or bile ducts
- Anaesthesia complications
Recovery From Gallbladder Laparoscopic Surgery
Usually, you will be transferred to the recovery room after a few hours. Once your vital signs have stabilised, you will be shifted to the hospital room/ward or discharged from the hospital on the same day.
The complete recovery will take a few weeks, and you can start returning to your normal activities. While you are in recovery mode, avoid heavy-duty work for a few weeks that could stress your body. Getting regular follow-ups done per the schedule is also crucial to achieving a complication-free recovery.
Take good care of the incision wounds and keep them clean. Take your medications, including painkillers, and antibiotics, as prescribed. If you experience unexplained pain or other side effects, seek medical attention.