What is Laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

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Know the basics

What is Laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

Gallstones are ‘stones’ that form in your gallbladder. They are common and can run in families. The risk of developing gallstones increases as you get older and if you eat a diet rich in fat.

Besides surgery, there are other treatment that could work on your bladder stone. It is possible to dissolve the stones or even shatter them into small pieces but these techniques involve unpleasant drugs that have side effects and a high failure rate. Antibiotics can be used to treat any infections of your gallbladder. Eating a diet low in fat may help to prevent attacks of pain. However, these alternatives will not cure the condition and symptoms are likely to come back.

Why is Laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed?

It is performed through several small incisions rather than through one large incision. If you have previously had surgery in the area of your gallbladder, if you tend to bleed a lot or if you have any problem that would make it hard for your doctor to see your gallbladder, an open surgery may be better for you. Your doctor will decide which type of surgery is best for you.

Understand the risks

What are the risks of Laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

Complications may include bleeding, infection and injury to the duct (tube) that carries bile from your gallbladder to your stomach. Also, during laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the intestines or major blood vessels may be injured when the instruments are inserted into the abdomen. All of these complications are rare. Other specific complications are:

  • Damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels;
  • Developing a hernia near one of the cuts;
  • Surgical emphysema;
  • Leaking of bile or stones;
  • Retained stones;
  • Continued pain;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Inflammation of the lining of your abdomen;
  • Allergic reaction;
  • Bile duct injury;
  • Bowel injury;
  • Serious damage to your liver.

It is important you understand the risks and complications before having this surgery. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.

Know what happens

How do I prepare for Laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

You should not eat or drink anything for 8 hours before the test.

You may need to stop taking medications, including narcotic pain relievers, on or before the day of the exam. You should not change or stop taking any medications without first talking to your health care provider.

Following any other instructions for how to prepare for the procedure is also important.

What happens during Laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about an hour.

Your surgeon will make several small cuts on your abdomen. They will insert surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation.

Your surgeon will free up your cystic duct and artery. They will separate your gallbladder from your liver and remove it.

If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.

Recovery

What happens after Laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

You should be able to go home the next day.

You should be able to return to work after two to four weeks, depending on the extent of surgery and your type of work.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask your doctor for advice.

You should make a full recovery and be able to return to normal activities.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 1, 2017 | Last Modified: September 6, 2018

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