Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure which is designed to remove the gallbladder. Gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ which sits below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. Gallbladder is the organ which collects & stores bile juice produced by the liver.
Cholecystectomy may become necessary when you experience pain caused by gallstones blocking the flow of bile. This is a common type of operation which carries small risk of any complications. Most patients go back home the same day following laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Most often cholecystectomy is performed laparoscopically & which involves inserting a tiny video camera along with specialized surgical tools through small keyhole incisions. These allow the surgeon to see inside the abdomen & remove the gallbladder at the same time. This method of treatment is known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Why Undergo Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy if commonly performed as treatment for gallstones & complications caused by them. Doctors usually recommend this procedure in the following circumstances.
- Cholelithiasis (gallstones in gallbladder)
- Choledocholithiasis (gallstones in bile duct)
- Cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation)
- Pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation due to gallstones)
Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
The surgeon will make four small incisions in the abdomen during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A laparoscope which carries a tiny video camera is inserted into the abdomen through one incision. Specialized surgical tools will be inserted through the other incisions & the surgeon will watch the video monitor in the operating room to perform the operation for removal of the gallbladder. If the surgeon is concerned about possible gallstones or other problems in the bile duct, he/she may perform imaging tests like x-rays or ultrasound. After the operation is completed incisions are sutured & you will be taken to a recovery area. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy normally takes 1-2 hours of time to complete.
However, laparoscopic cholecystectomy may not be suitable for everyone. Sometimes the surgeon may begin with laparoscopic cholecystectomy & subsequently find it necessary to make a larger incision because of the presence of scar tissue from earlier operations or complications.
Recovery Following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
Most patients are able to go home the same day following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Rarely does a patient will have to stay at the hospital for one night if required. You can normally expect to go back home once you are comfortable to eat & drink without pain & able to walk without help. Complete recovery following laparoscopic cholecystectomy takes about 7 days time.
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Outcome
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy effectively relieves pain & discomfort caused due to gallstones. Since conservative treatments including dietary modifications are unable to stop recurrence of gallstones, cholecystectomy is the only way to stop them. Most people undergoing cholecystectomy will not experience digestive problems after surgery. Moreover, gallbladder is not essential to healthy digestion. It would just take a matter of days for you to get back to work following laparoscopic cholecystectomy.