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Gallbladder Surgery (General)

Underlying Problem Requiring Gallbladder Surgery (Cholecystectomy):
Gallbladder surgery may also be referred to as \"cholecystectomy.\" It is most often the result of gallstones. These stones cause \"attacks\" that include nausea and pain. Patients undergoing this type of surgery will typically have the entire gallbladder removed in order to put an end to the symptoms.

Treatment:

There are two methods for removing the gallbladder. The more traditional approach involves \"open\" surgery. In this type of procedure, a doctor will make a fairly large incision below the rib cage on the right side. Many doctors are now making the move toward laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. This type of procedure requires much smaller incisions in order to allow for the insertion of a camera and some very small instruments. The instruments may even be remote controlled, with a surgeon guiding them to perform the procedure. He or she may inflate the area with carbon dioxide in order to make a larger field of vision. In addition to removing the gallbladder through one of the incisions, the doctor will also remove any gallstones that have made their way into the duct that drains the gallbladder.

Recovery from Gallbladder Surgery (Cholecystectomy):

Patients undergoing the open surgery method for gallbladder removal will probably need to remain in the hospital for two to five days. During this time, the healthcare team will dress the wounds, administer pain medication, and teach the patient how to care for himself or herself upon release. The laparoscopic procedure will usually result in a much faster recovery time. The patient may have to stay in the hospital overnight, and the healthcare team will work to teach both the patient and any caregivers how to properly aid in the recovery process.

Symptoms of gallbladder disease:
  • Severe, ongoing pain in the upper abdomen
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain under the right shoulder
  • Indigestion
  • Gas/Belching
  • Abdominal Bloating

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