Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common surgeries in India and all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have their gallbladder removed every year due to problems. Yet few people really understand what the gallbladder does. Or why it would need to be removed? That is until injury or gallbladder disease occurs. Surgery to remove the gallbladder is also known as cholecystectomy. It is sometimes done as open surgery, using a large incision. The most common type is laparoscopic surgery. This minimally invasive approach uses several small incisions. “Gallbladder surgery is usually not necessary unless you have severe symptoms” this is told and advised by many physicians but I beg to differ having seen in my career span over 20 odd years. The repercussions and complications are the worst and nearly fatal when they occur. The incidence of Gall bladder cancer is rare but represents almost 50% of all biliary tract cancer. Gall bladder cancers are highly fatal malignancies with a 5-year survival rate of 17.6% (2007-2023). The prognosis of gallbladder cancer is poor due to the aggressive tumour biology, late presentation, complicated anatomic position, and advanced stage at diagnosis, early stage is potentially curative with surgical resection followed by adjuvant therapy.
What is a gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ below the liver. It stores bile, a fluid produced in the liver that helps the body digest fat. Bile is released through the common bile duct, a tube-like structure that connects the gallbladder and liver to the small intestine. “Most of the time, the gallbladder does its job with no problems. But when it blocks the flow of bile through the ducts, it can cause problems. It can lead to inflammation and infection of the gallbladder,” Most often, ducts are blocked by gallstones. “If you have gallstone attacks, often the best solution is simply to have your gallbladder removed,”
What are gallstones?
Gallstones are the most common reason for gallbladder removal surgery. Gallstones are small, pebble-like substances that form in the gallbladder. They develop when bile contains too much cholesterol or salt and becomes solid. Gallstones become a problem when they migrate outside the gallbladder and block the flow of bile. If you have gallstones but no symptoms but the complications can still occur.
Non-surgical vs. surgical treatment
Nonsurgical treatment may include what is known as watchful waiting if you have no symptoms. It may include exercising more, eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer foods high in sugars and carbohydrates. Though others could form in the future.
Gallbladder symptoms. See your doctor right away if you have these symptoms. They may be signs of a serious infection or inflammation of the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas. Abdominal pain lasting several hours Nausea and vomiting, Fever or chills,Jaundice,Tea-colored urine, light-coloured stools.Risk factors for gallstones include obesity and certain kinds of dieting. Indians and Mexican-Americans have a higher risk of gallstones.
Do I need my gallbladder?
The gallbladder is not considered an essential organ. You can live without one. Bile can be passed to the small intestine through other paths.
Open surgery vs. minimally invasive surgeries
Open gallbladder surgery is usually not do done routinely only when the gallbladder is severely inflamed, infected, or scarred from other operations. A surgeon may perform open surgery if problems occur during a laparoscopic surgery.Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses several tiny incisions. Smaller incisions reduce the risk of infection, blood loss and recovery time.In this procedure, the surgeon makes four small incisions around the abdomen. The incisions are used to guide a tube with a small camera into the abdomen. The surgeon then guides other long, narrow surgical tools through the incisions while looking at a monitor.
3D LAPAROSCOPIC Surgery
3D LAPAROSCOPIC gallbladder removal is much like laparoscopic surgery BUT ENHANCED AND A LATEST TECHNOLOGY. The difference is the surgeon doesn’t have to anticipate various anatomical positions instead the 3d makes the visualisation enhanced and 10 x more depth analysisis.The camera uses three-dimensional, high definition vision, which greatly magnifies the gallbladder and surrounding tissue”.
What is recovery time for 3D LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY?
3D LAPAROSCOPIC gallbladder surgery is an outpatient procedure. It usually requires less than 24 hours in the hospital. Not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. “It is most appropriate for patients who elect to have their gallbladders removed and have no complicating factors,”. If a patient is obese or has complications, this may not be a suitable procedure. “In most cases, you may be able to resume normal activity within 24 hours. People who have open gallbladder surgery may need to stay in the hospital for two to three days. Recovery can take four to six weeks. “Everyone recovers differently. Your recovery time will depend on several factors. This includes your age, overall health and the type of surgery you had,”. As you consider “When is gallbladder surgery necessary”, it’s important to remember that delaying the procedure for too long can cause other problems:
Increased pain: If you have gallstones or acute cholecystitis, delaying surgery can result in more frequent and severe pain. This pain can be debilitating and impact your quality of life.
Infection: Waiting to get surgery can increase the risk of infection when you have acute cholecystitis. If the infection spreads, this can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Pancreatitis: Don’t wait when you have gallstones that are blocking the pancreatic duct. Delaying surgery can increase the risk of developing pancreatitis, which can be extremely painful and may require hospitalization.
Gallbladder perforation: Acute cholecystitis can increase the risk of the gallbladder becoming inflamed and perforating (rupturing). This can lead to serious complications, such as peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal lining) and sepsis, especially when you continue to wait to get surgery.
Biliary cirrhosis: If you have biliary dyskinesia and delay surgery, it can lead to long-term inflammation and damage to the bile ducts, which can eventually lead to biliary cirrhosis. That can cause liver damage and other complications.Although surgery can be intimidating, it is a much better choice rather than allowing your illness to get worse and cause more problems. Gallbladder surgery is typically safe and well-tolerated, and it can often be performed laparoscopically, which involves smaller incisions and shorter recovery times compared to open surgery. However, it’s essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with a Surgeon.
Book an appointment with Dr. Sachin Ambekar, Laparoscopic and Minimal Invasive Surgeon, Bariatric Surgeon, FIAGES, FALCS, FASI, FMAS, MS (Gold Medallist), MBBS and get the best possible solution. Call 7897116679 for an appointment!