Gallbladder Surgery: Treatment Options For Gallstones & Stomach Pain

What Are the Best Options for Gallbladder Surgery?

Gallstones can feel excruciating. Gallbladder surgery removes the gallbladder and gallstones to alleviate the pain significantly. Medical reasons for removing the gallbladder range from an impaired immune system to general inflammation in the body. Common surgery options include laparoscopic surgery and open surgery. Each surgery involves a unique technique and a set of pros and cons. Patients usually make a full recovery with few complications.

Laparoscopic surgery

Although laparoscopic surgery cholecystectomy requires general anesthesia, the procedure is less invasive than open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is a safe and effective procedure and a more popular choice for gallbladder surgery. The surgeon makes small incisions into the abdomen to remove the gallbladder and gallstones. Surgeons insert a tiny video camera into the incision and watch the movements in a video monitor to remove the gallbladder.
Before the procedure, the patient must have an x-ray that shows the anatomy of the bile ducts. Despite some surgery risks, overall complications are relatively low. Options range from same-day outpatient surgery to a 2-day stay. Soreness may last for a week. Recovery can take a couple of weeks but ultimately is not as difficult recovery as open surgery, which can take twice as long.

Open surgery

Someone might opt for open surgery rather than laparoscopic gallbladder surgery for many reasons. Open surgery cholecystectomy is often used as a second option if laparoscopic surgery was unsuccessful. Patients with severe gallbladder disease, who are obese, or are in the last trimester of pregnancy make good candidates for open gallbladder surgery.
The surgery requires a larger incision on the abdomen area, around 5-7 inches. General anesthesia is needed. Expect staying up to 4 days in the hospital post-operation and a healing period of 4-6 weeks. The recovery period for open surgery tends to be longer and slightly more uncomfortable than laparoscopic surgery. The surgery also leaves a scar.

Goodbye gallbladder

No matter which technique, surgery options are safe and practical depending on each person’s unique needs. Gallstones are incredibly painful, and surgery reduces the chances that the gallstones return. The possibility that gallstones form in the bile ducts after cholecystectomy is low. Modern medicine allows patients in pain to heal and make progress. Patients don’t need a special diet or requirements post-surgery for gallbladder removal, making recovery more approachable compared to more complicated surgeries. For more information, speak with a healthcare provider.


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