Cholecystectomy surgery: what does it consist of and when is it necessary

Removal of the gallbladder is a necessary intervention in the case of gallbladder stones. Our expert in General Surgery , explains to us what it consists of and how the patient should behave following surgery

What is cholecystectomy?

Cholecystectomy is a gallbladder removal operation . This organ, also known as the gallbladder , is located below the liver and has the function of storing bile. Generally, this is indicated in case of:

  • Pancreatitis with gallbladder stones
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder or cholecystitis, a condition caused in most cases by the formation of gallstones that obstruct the passage of bile
  • Dilation of the gallbladder

In some cases, cholecystectomy can also be used to remove benign tumors such as adenomas or polyps.

What does the intervention consist of?

Cholecystectomy can be performed laparoscopically or laparotomically. Except in case of conditions that require the traditional technique (laparotomy), the intervention is performed with the minimally invasive technique. The procedure can take 40 to 60 minutes and the patient is sedated with a general anesthesia, after which 3-4 small holes will be made through which the surgical instruments and a probe (laparoscope) with a light and a video camera will be introduced. The abdomen will be insufflated with carbon dioxide and radiographs of the biliary tract will be performed to highlight the possible presence of stones outside the gallbladder. In some cases (about 4%) the gallbladder cannot be removed with laparoscopy and it will therefore be necessary to move on to the more invasive laparotomy technique.

Is Cholecystectomy Painful?

Most patients may experience mild pain after surgery which can be controlled by pain relievers . In addition, shoulder pain could be experienced due to the gas that was blown orally during surgery. After about 10 days all the inconvenience due to the operation should be gone.

When can we return to everyday life?

After a cholecystectomy , the patient will have to avoid physical exertion for the first two weeks, after which it will be possible to resume normal daily and work activities. However, it is recommended not to lift heavy loads and not to drive the car until you are able to control the car and carry out emergency braking.

Gallbladder Removal: How Does Nutrition Change?

Immediately after the gallbladder removal operation, the patient will have to follow a liquid diet and then switch to semi-liquid. Once discharged, you can gradually start eating solid foods again, favoring those rich in fiber and avoiding fatty foods (cheeses, eggs, butter, chocolate, etc.). After about a month, you will be able to return to a normal diet always under the direction of a specialist.


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