Gallbladder removal is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures. Gallbladder removal surgery is usually performed with minimally invasive techniques and the medical name for this procedure is “Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy”.

 

What Causes Gallbladder Problems?

Gallbladder problems are usually caused by the presence of gallstones which are usually small and hard, 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 but risk factors include being female, prior pregnancy, age over 40 years and being overweight. Gallstones are also more common as you get older and some people may have a family history of 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, other X-ray test such as a CT scan or a gallbladder nuclear medicine scan may be used to evaluate gallbladder disease.
  • Gallstones do not go away on their own. Some can be temporarily managed by making dietary adjustments, such as reducing fat intake. This treatment has a low, short-term success rate. Symptoms will eventually continue unless the gallbladder is removed. Treatments to break up or dissolve gallstones are largely unsuccessful.
  • Surgical removal of the gallbladder is the time honored and safest treatment of gallbladder disease.

 

What are the Advantages of Performing Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal?

  • Rather than a five to seven inch incision, the operation requires only four small openings in the abdomen.
  • Patients usually have minimal post-operative pain.
  • Patients usually experience faster recovery than open gallbladder surgery patients.
  • Most patients go home the same day of the surgery and enjoy a quicker return to normal activities.