Gallbladder Surgery

Your doctor has suggested you need gallbladder surgery and you are not sure why.

Well, first you need to understand what your gallbladder does for you. It is the job of the gallbladder to aid with the digestion of food. The gallbladder stores bile. The bile helps dissolve fat. Fat is absorbed into the bloodstream to provide nutrients to the body. While the gallbladder’s function is important you can live without it and there are certain problems that may develop causing you to have to have it removed.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Bloating after eating
  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Back pain
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Pain under the right arm

Hopefully you will be able to schedule your surgery but there are times gallbladder surgery may be performed urgently after diagnosis. Ask your doctor to schedule your surgery at Outpatient Services East. You will receive the best possible care by the professional medical staff there.

Testing for gallbladder disease includes a physical exam, blood tests, and possible abdominal imaging that can detect the presence of gallstones and blockages. The decision for treatment or surgery will be made based on the size and number of gallstones and the condition of the gallbladder.

The most common technique used for gallbladder surgery is the laparoscopic approach. This is where a camera and a few small incisions to visualize the surgery, instead of a large incision. However, the surgeon may deem it necessary to use the “open” procedure.

The laparoscopic surgery goes something like this:

The surgeon begins with four small incisions, approximately half an inch long, in the upper right side of the abdomen. Two of these incisions allow the surgeon to place surgical instruments in the abdominal cavity. The third incision is used to insert the laparoscope, an instrument that has a light and a video camera that allows the surgeon to view the surgery on a monitor while working. The fourth incision is used to insert a port that releases carbon dioxide gas, inflating the abdomen to allow better visualization and more room to work. The gallbladder is separated from the healthy tissue and is placed in a sterile bag to allow it to pass through one of the small incisions. If the gallbladder is enlarged or hardened, and cannot fit through the laparoscopic incisions, the surgery is converted to an open procedure to allow removal of the tissue.The surgeon then inspects the area where the gallbladder was removed and closes the ducts that were connected to it. If there are no signs of leaking or infection, the port that blows carbon dioxide into the abdomen is removed and the remaining gas leaks out of the incisions as the instruments are removed. The incisions are then closed with staples, stitches or adhesive bandages.

When your surgery is completed you will be monitored while the anesthesia wears off. The medical staff will watch closely for signs of pain, vital signs changes, and any possible complications.  (infection, bleeding. leakage of bile) Complications are rare but are possible with any surgery.

Keep in mind that this is just a small part of the information you will want to know before going into your surgery. Ask your doctor and surgeon to explain in detail what you need to expect during and after surgery.

The staff at Outpatient Services East will answer any questions you have. Give them a call.

Phone:  205-838-3888

 

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