Why Does My Doctor Want To Remove My Gallbladder?
There are several reasons why a physician may consider suggesting gallbladder removal as the best treatment. If a patient is having gallstones regularly, chronic gallbladder inflammation may affect a patient’s way of life and a cholecystectomy would be recommended. This procedure is often used when there are stones in the gallbladder which are causing symptoms such as vomiting, pain, and sometimes even back pain and bloating.
Symptoms of gallstones
The three most common symptoms of an inflamed gallbladder are bloating, nausea, and vomiting. If these symptoms occur regularly, gallbladder removal may relieve pain.
3 additional reasons for gallbladder removal
While gallbladder stones are the most common cause for a recommendation of surgery, three other leading conditions are common reasons why a physician will suggest surgery.
1. Biliary dyskinesia
This disease often occurs when the gallbladder will not empty bile correctly due to a hindrance in motion. This often causes a lot of pain for the patient.
Pancreatitis is a considerably more serious situation. This is the inflammation of the pancreas and can lead to vomiting and bloody stools.
This condition is caused when gallbladder stones have moved to the bile duct but may be stuck. This creates a blockage that does not allow the gallbladder to drain properly.
Where is my gallbladder?
The gallbladder is located on the right side of a person’s flank located just under the liver. The primary purpose of a gallbladder is bile storage. The liver will make bile, which helps break down foods and absorb fat. The gallbladder will store this extra bile that the liver makes and releases when fat is digested. A gallbladder is not necessary for healthy digestion but dietary restrictions apply.
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal is performed using a narrow tube with a camera and is usually performed with small incisions. The physician will be able to see the gallbladder on a screen which means that recovery time is much quicker than traditional open gallbladder surgery.
Open vs minimally invasive cholecystectomy
A traditional open gallbladder surgery requires an incision about 5-8 inches long across a patient’s abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery is considerably smaller with 1-3 cuts made in the right upper part of the abdomen. The gallbladder is removed through one of these incisions. The benefits of laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared to open cholecystectomy is that patients can return to work much quicker and have less pain. These outpatient surgeries have much less pain and a shorter recovery time. Minimally invasive surgery often requires less pain medication. Traditional cholecystectomy would have required a stay in the hospital for up to 5 days.
Considering your options
There are considerations for every type of procedure, whether laparoscopic or open, and these include infection, injury to the bile duct, as well as permanent discomfort, but these complications are infrequent. If a patient is experiencing constant gallbladder stones or has frequent acute pain in the lower right abdomen a consultation with a gastroenterologist is recommended.