A Gallbladder is an organ connected to the liver, which collects so-called bile, a substance produced by the liver, which helps to digest food. However, in some people there is a tendency to create gallbladders, blocking the canal leading out of this organ. This state is called cholecystitis and may lead to serious health problems due to the accumulation of bile. For this reason, patients with gallbladders need to fight them as soon as possible. While some people claim, that gallstone removal surgery is a viable way to deal with cholecystitis, most of the surgeons supported by academic research claim, that removing the stone in gallbladder does not solve the issue as the new ones will be created in the future. For this reason, cholecystectomy or total gallbladder removal surgery is recommended as the way to avoid future problems.
Most common symptom of gallstones is abdominal pain, sometimes spreading far from the area of gallbladder and liver. This pain increases after greasy, heavy food or even after a deep breath. If you do have such symptoms, we suggest you visit your doctor in order to find out whether you do in a fact suffer from cholecystitis and need a gallbladder removal surgery.
Am I Suitable for Cholecystectomy?
If you do have gallstones, your doctor will most probably suggest you cholecystectomy surgery. If you hesitate, ask your doctor about the details of how the removal of the gallbladder is conducted. However, remember, that there is no other effective way of fighting cholecystitis since gallstones have a tendency to reoccur.
Preparing for Cholecystectomy
In order to properly prepare for cholecystectomy surgery, firstly you need to inform your doctor about all medical conditions you suffer from as well as all medications you take. This way, your doctor may decide which medicines you should stop taking before gallbladder removal procedure and if it is safe for you to undergo it. Apart from this, you need to fast for several hours before cholecystectomy – your doctor will inform you about the exact amount.
How is Cholecystectomy Performed?
There are two main types of gallbladder removal surgery: laparoscopic cholecystectomy and open cholecystectomy.
•Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed with the use of laparoscope – a small device possessing a camera allowing for live-viewing of the gallbladder removal surgery on a screen and smaller incisions.
•Open cholecystectomy is an older technique of gallbladder removal. As the name suggests, open cholecystectomy is performed through a larger incision with the use of traditional surgical tools. Open cholecystectomy lost popularity in favour of laparoscopic cholecystectomy due to the longer gallbladder recovery time and a higher risk of infections. However, some patients, especially the ones with strong gallbladder inflammation, cannot undergo the laparoscopic gallbladder surgery and need to rely on the open one.
During both of these procedures, the doctor cuts out the gallbladder and removes gallstones or decides to leave them and remove them in a separate operation.
Outpatient (laparoscopic) / 3-5 days (open)
Number of Trips Abroad
Back to Sports
Up to the case
Duration of Operation
Outpatient (laparoscopic) / 3-5 days (open)
Back to Work
10-14 days (laparoscopic) / 4-8 weeks (open)
Recovery time for gallbladder surgery depends mostly on the type of cholecystectomy performed. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy ensures a quite quick recovery period with less pain as compared to open cholecystectomy. No matter what type of gallbladder removal you have undergone, somebody should take you home and care for you for 24 hours after leaving the hospital. As for sports, try to come back to them slowly during your gallbladder surgery recovery time.
Cholecystectomy Risks and Complications
Both laparoscopic gallbladder surgery and open cholecystectomy involve some risks and complications worth taking under consideration. You may suffer from infection after gallbladder removal as well as internal or external bleeding. While removing the gallbladder, the doctor may also cause an injury to a small intestine or common bile duct, which will need to be operated once discovered.
Cholecystectomy Side Effects
Gallbladder removal side effects include swelling and bruising of wounds as well as a moderate amount of pain possible to be suppressed with painkillers. Additionally, your digestive system may react to cholecystectomy, especially during first days of recovery from gallbladder surgery – you may suffer from diarrhea, flatulence or bloating.
Cholecystectomy Success Rates
As for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, the success rate is estimated to be as high as 95-98%. The success rate of open cholecystectomy seems to be smaller but this type of removal of the gallbladder is nowadays used only when laparoscopic cholecystectomy is not possible to be performed.
Before and After Cholecystectomy
Patients who underwent cholecystectomy surgery of any kind do feel much better after it. Most of them do not suffer from any negative side effects or complications. Additionally, removing the gallbladder is not equal to digestive problems – the majority of patients lives as they lived before and do not need to care about some specific diet.