Smart health facts: Gallbladder surgery
Gallbladder attacks and gallstones may lead you to discuss gallbladder removal with your doctor. In laparoscopic gallbladder surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), the doctor inserts a lighted tube in your belly to remove your gallbladder by making several small cuts. If the gallbladder cannot safely be removed by laparascope, the surgeon will do a more complicated open surgery and make a larger incision in your stomach.
You may want to talk with your doctor about your options.
- Up to 4 out of 10 people continue to have stomach pain – even without their gallbladders.
- Many "silent" gallstones do not cause symptoms and no treatment is usually recommended for them.
- Surgery lowers the chance of gallstones returning, but they do sometimes form in the bile ducts years later.
Why you might need gallbladder surgery
- Pain in your abdomen caused by gallstones
- Indigestion, nausea or vomiting
- An infected gallbladder
Understand the risks of gallbladder surgery
- Injury to the duct that connects the gallbladder and small intestine
- Injury to the small intestine
- Infection in the belly
- Swelling in the pancreas (pancreatitis)
Ask your doctor about other options
- Lifestyle changes, for example, change in diet and weight loss
- Pain medicine
- Endoscopy test (ERCP) to find and remove stones from bile duct
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