As their name suggests, gallstones are small, solid pieces of stone-like debris that are formed from bile and usually accumulate in the gallbladder. This organ is a small sac that lies beneath the liver in the upper right abdomen and is responsible for storing bile produced by the liver and pushing it into the intestine as part of the digestive process. Fortunately, the gallbladder is not an essential organ and can be removed without disrupting the flow of bile between the liver and intestines.
Gallstones are believed to be caused by an abnormality in the balance of chemicals in the bile inside the gallbladder. For example, the majority of gallstones are comprised of cholesterol and are found in patients with abnormally high levels of cholesterol. Gallstones can range from the size of a grain of sand to as large as a small pebble.
While some people who suffer from gallstones will not have any symptoms and therefore not require treatment, others may find that they experience problems ranging from pain in the abdomen to jaundice caused by a blockage in the bile duct and inflammation of the pancreas.
Advantages of choosing laparoscopic gallbladder surgery
Any surgery that is described as being laparoscopic is minimally invasive. This means that it can be performed through a single (or in some cases multiple minor incisions), that are often so small that they can heal with little or no sutures required.
The minimally-invasive nature of laparoscopic surgery enables patients to experience a number of different benefits. These include:
Lower risk of complications
Since the wounds created to perform the surgery are much smaller, there is a lower risk of complications such as post-procedure infections or inadequate wound healing.
Reduced blood loss
Any normal ‘open’ surgery usually involves moderate blood loss thanks to the invasiveness of the procedure. However, smaller wounds mean that there is almost always significantly less blood loss during a laparoscopic surgery than a conventional one.
Pain is a big worry of any patient undergoing any sort of medical procedure, and laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is no exception. However, the procedure itself will normally be carried out under general anesthetic, so you will not have any awareness of the surgery. Since the wounds that need to heal are smaller, you can also benefit from less post-operative pain.
In almost all cases, you should be able to leave your medical facility on the same day as your procedure, enabling you to get home to the comfort and care of your family. Most patients feel much happier being at home, and this can have a positive effect on their recovery. Patients who opt for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery can typically return to their usual day to day activities around two weeks after their procedure. By comparison, those who have traditional ‘open’ surgery can expect to say in the hospital for between three and five days and need up to eight weeks to get back to ‘normal’.
Another large benefit of choosing laparoscopic surgery is that smaller incisions mean much smaller and easier to hide scarring.
If you would like to know more about gallstone, the gallbladder or gallbladder surgery, our highly knowledgeable and professional team would be delighted to assist. Call our office today to learn more at 212-879-6677.