What is Gall Bladder Surgery?

Dr Priya Sharma

Dr Priya Sharma

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 6 years of experience

November 7, 2021 Liver Section 149 Views

English हिन्दी Bengali

What is the meaning of Gall Bladder Surgery?

A gallbladder removal surgery or cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure done for the removal of the gallbladder. 

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped and sized organ that stores bile, which is a fluid made and released by the liver. Bile helps in the digestion of food by breaking down the fatty foodstuff.

Due to an imbalance in the substances making up the bile, small gallstones may be formed. These gallstones may cause pain and infection and in such a case a Gallbladder removal surgery is recommended.

In today’s article, we will be discussing in detail about Gallbladder removal surgery.

  • What is the purpose of Gallbladder Surgery?
  • What are the risk factors for developing Gallstones?
  • What are the symptoms for Gallbladder Surgery?
  • What are the diagnostic tests for Gallbladder Surgery?
  • How to prepare for Gallbladder Surgery?
  • What is the treatment procedure of Gallbladder Surgery?
  • How to care after a Gallbladder Surgery?
  • What are the risks of Gallbladder Surgery?
  • What is the cost of Gall Bladder Surgery in India?

What is the purpose of Gallbladder Surgery?

A gall bladder surgery is required in the following cases:

  • Painful gallstones: Gallstones are hard deposits of some substances present in the bile that can get stuck in the gallbladder. The size of a gallstone may be as small as a sand grain or it can be as big as a golf ball. These gallstones may be painless and have no symptoms. However, sometimes these gallstones are extremely painful and require gallbladder removal surgery.
  • Inflammation and infection: Gallstones may cause acute (sudden and short-term) or chronic (gradual and long-term) gallbladder inflammation. This may be accompanied by an associated infection that causes nausea, vomiting, pain, and bloating. A gall bladder removal surgery is required in such cases.
  • Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder is called cholecystitis and requires gallbladder removal surgery.
  • Biliary dyskinesia: A condition in which the gallbladder is unable to empty the bile properly due to a defect in its motion may require gallbladder surgery.
  • Choledocholithiasis: When the gallstones move to the common bile duct and get stuck, it may lead to a blockage that will not allow the gallbladder to drain. This condition is called choledocholithiasis and requires gallbladder removal surgery.
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis and may require gallbladder removal surgery.

What are the risk factors for developing Gallstones?

Gallstones are more likely to be seen in the following cases:

  • Age is above 40 years
  • More commonly seen in women
  • Obesity or overweight person
  • Family history of gallstones

What are the symptoms for Gallbladder Surgery?

Some symptoms that indicate the need of a Gallbladder removal surgery are:

  • Sharp pain in the upper right part of the stomach (abdomen) that can radiate to the middle part of the abdomen, back, or the right shoulder
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Fever
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eye) indicating a bile duct blockage due to a biliary disease ( Know more about- Foods to Eat and Avoid in Jaundice )

What are the diagnostic tests for Gallbladder Surgery?

The doctor will first physically examine the patient and note the symptoms and medical history of the patient. A few tests may be recommended by the doctor:

  • Blood tests- Liver function tests- albumin levels, liver enzymes ( ALT, AST, GGT, Alkaline phosphatase) ,etc. are asked by the doctor. Bilirubin levels are also tested. ( Know more about- What are Liver Function tests? Causes and Procedure )
  • Ultrasound: The ultrasound produces images of the gallbladder and the bile ducts showing any signs of inflammation or blockage that may be present.
  • MRI HIDA (hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid) scan: In this procedure, a radioactive chemical goes into the body to show images of any blocked duct that may be present.
  • Endoscopic ultrasonography: It is an imaging device that is put in the mouth into the digestive tract creating sound waves to obtain a detailed image of the small intestine. ( Know more about- What is Endoscopy? Types, Procedure, and Cost)

How to prepare for Gallbladder Surgery?

  • The doctor should be informed of any medications or supplements the patient may be taking before the surgery.
  • The doctor will most likely ask the patient to stop taking blood-thinning medications like aspirin and warfarin a few days before the surgery, as these medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
  • It is advisable to stop eating or drinking anything at least four hours before the surgery.

What is the treatment procedure of Gallbladder Surgery?

  • The surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
  • A tube is inserted down the throat to help in breathing.
  • The gall bladder removal surgery is then performed using one of the following two surgical procedures:

Minimally invasive / Laparoscopic cholecystectomy:

    • The surgeon makes four small incisions in the abdomen region.
    • A tube with a camera on one end is inserted into the abdomen through one of the incisions.
    • The surgeon can see the video monitor attached to the camera while using different surgical tools which are inserted through the other incisions for the removal of the gallbladder.
    • The incisions are then sutured and the patient is taken to the recovery room.
    • This procedure usually takes one to two hours.

Traditional / Open cholecystectomy:

    • The surgeon first makes a 6-inch-long incision in the patient’s abdomen (stomach) below the ribs on the right side.
    • The muscles and tissues are pulled back to expose the liver and the gallbladder. ( Know more about- What is Liver Cirrhosis? Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention )
    • The gallbladder is then removed.
    • The incision is sutured and the patient is taken to the recovery room.
    • This procedure may take about one to two hours.

How to care after a Gallbladder Surgery? 

  • In the case of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the patient is usually allowed to go home on the same day or the next day after the surgery. The patient is discharged once he can walk without any help, and eat and drink without having any sort of pain. It takes about a week for the patient to recover fully.
  • In the case of an open cholecystectomy, the patient is usually discharged two to three days after the surgery. The patient may take about four to six weeks to recover completely. 
  • At home, the patient needs to follow specific bathing instructions given by the doctor to keep the incision area clean and dry.
  • It is normal to feel a little pain in the incision area and the abdominal muscle area. This pain may last for a few days and should get better with time.
  • Pain medications should be taken as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Strenuous physical activities should be avoided till the patient recovers completely.
  • The patient should follow the doctor’s advice on when to resume work post-surgery.
  • Follow up appointments should be followed properly.
  • Patients should follow the diet chart as given by the doctor.

What are the risks of Gallbladder Surgery?

The gall bladder removal is generally safe. However, like any other surgical procedure it may have a few complications like:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Problems associated with anesthesia given
  • Leakage of bile 
  • Damage to the bile duct
  • Damage to the bowel, intestine or the blood vessels
  • Heart problems
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clot (gel-like masses of blood) formation
  • Post-cholecystectomy syndrome: It occurs when bile leaks into the stomach or any gallstones are left behind in the bile ducts. The symptoms of this syndrome include stomach pain, diarrhea and heartburn.

What is the cost of Gall Bladder Surgery in India?

The total cost of Gall Bladder Surgery in India can range from around INR 50,000 to INR 1,70,000.The cost of gallbladder surgery may vary across different hospitals. There are many big hospitals and specialized doctors in India for Gallbladder Surgery. 

If you are coming from abroad, in addition to the expenses of gallbladder surgery, there will be a cost of staying in a hotel, cost of living and cost of local travel. Apart from this, after the surgery, the patient is kept in hospital for 2 to 3 days and in the hotel for around 7 days for recovery. So, the total cost of Gallbladder Surgery in India comes around INR 1,30,000 to INR 2,00,000. 

We hope that we could answer all your questions regarding Gallbladder Surgery through this article.

If you want more information and treatment of Gallbladder Surgery, you can contact a Gastrointestinal Surgeon.

We only aim to give you information through this article and do not recommend medication or treatment in any way. Only a doctor can give you the best advice and correct treatment plan. 

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