What is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is a surgery performed to remove the gallbladder through a few small incisions on the abdomen rather than one large incision. Gallbladder is a small pouch that rests below the right side of the liver. The main function of the gallbladder is to collect and concentrate a digestive liquid (called bile) produced by the liver. Bile is released from the gallbladder and moves to small intestine through bile ducts. Thus, it helps in digestion process by breaking the fats.
Why is it done?
You will be recommended for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, if you have:
- holelithiasis: Gallstones in the gallbladder
- Choledocholithiasis: Gallstones in the bile duct
- Cholecystitis: Redness or swelling (inflammation) in Gallbladder
- Large gallbladder polyps
- Gallstone Pancreatitis: Pancreatic inflammation due to gallstones
What happens during the procedure?
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy will be performed under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will make a few small incisions on your abdomen. Camera and surgical tools are inserted through the incisions to remove the gallbladder. Once the procedure is completed, the incision site will be closed.
How long will it take?
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy usually takes around one to two hours, depending upon your condition.
What happens after the procedure?
Post-surgery, your vitals will be monitored. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive procedure. Hence, most of the patients will go home in a day or so. After surgery, you will be encouraged to walk. Depending upon your recovery, discharge will be planned and your follow-up visit will be scheduled.
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What is Gallbladder Stones
Gallstones are made from cholesterol and other substances found in our bile. Gallstone size varies; some may have hundreds of small grain of sand sized stones and some may have one as large as a golf ball. Gallstones can sometimes be asymptomatic; pain only occurs when these gallstones block the movement of bile from the gallbladder. Your doctor may prescribe investigation such as an ultrasound, MRI or endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to diagnose Gallstones.
Causes of Gallstones:
- Too much cholesterol in your bile.
- Too much bilirubin in your bile.
- Your gallbladder doesn’t empty fully.
If left untreated, gallstones can cause serious health issues, such as:
- Presence of gallstones in the gallbladder may lead to a condition called Acute Cholecystitis which means inflammation of the gallbladder.
- Blocked bile duct can cause jaundice.
- An infected bile duct can cause Acute Cholangitis.
How soon can I return to my daily routines?
You can expect faster recovery with laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Mild to moderate pain or discomfort may be felt for 3 or 5 days which can be managed with a painkiller. You can return to your normal routines within 2 weeks but doctor’s advice has to be followed.
How is laparoscopic cholecystectomy better than open surgery?
- Smaller incisions
- Lesser pain
- Lesser hospital stay
- Quicker recovery
- Early return to normal routine
What can I eat?
There are no specific diet restrictions after removal of the gallbladder. However, we suggest that you start with light frequent meals. Avoid oily food.
When will my bowel movements return to normal?
Usually, it takes three or four days to have a normal bowel movement.
UPDATED ON 22/05/2023