A cholecystectomy is a type of surgery done to remove the gallbladder. Although the gallbladder’s function is to store bile, which helps in your digestion, you can still live a healthy life without it. Gallbladder removal through surgery is the most effective treatment in dealing with gallbladder problems.
When we talk about the gallbladder, we are referring to an organ that is located in the upper right side of your abdomen. The gallbladder is small and pouch-like in shape. It is produced by the liver and is used for the storage of bile, which is a fluid used in breaking down foods. The gallbladder also releases bile to aid your digestion.
There are a number of reasons why people must undergo a cholecystectomy. These reasons include the following:
Like the kidneys, stones can also form in the gallbladder. These stones can grow hard and big in size, thereby causing a lot of complications. If bile becomes thick, then it creates some forms of blockages within the gallbladder that will lead to the formation of stones.
Gallstones are mostly formed by deposits in the bile. The stones will definitely vary in size depending on uncontrollable factors. They can range from grain size stones to the size of a golf ball.
Moreover, it is important to undergo a cholecystectomy since cholelithiasis (formation of stones in the gallbladder) causes both short and long-term pain around your abdomen. Other complications accompanied by gallstones include vomiting, nausea, and bloating. The gallbladder is removed to prevent all of these complications.
2. In Case of a Choledocholithiasis
Choledocholithiasis is another special condition that should be a reason for you to seek a cholecystectomy. This condition happens when a number of big gallstones are present and have reached the common bile duct (CBD).
In this situation, the gallbladder is blocked from releasing bile that is necessary for digestion. In this case, it is always advisable to undergo a cholecystectomy.
3. Biliary Dyskinesia
Biliary dyskinesia is a disorder that leads to a gallbladder removal surgery. It is a condition that happens when the gallbladder is not able to fill or empty as required. Biliary dyskinesia is always as a result of some defects within the tissues.
Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas. This condition often develops if there are existing stones in the gallbladder. A drainage duct is shared by the pancreas and gallbladder. That is why when there are gallstones, there is duct obstruction, which prevents the flow of enzymes from the pancreas. Pancreatitis is then triggered due to the obstruction.
Cholecystitis is the inflammation and swelling of the gallbladder. The most common cause of cholecystitis is the buildup of bile in the gallbladder due to the formation of gallstones. Tumors and bile duct diseases can also cause cholecystitis. Gallbladder removal is necessary for the treatment of cholecystitis since it can lead to more serious complications such as gallbladder rupture if not treated properly.
Cancer is currently one of the deadliest conditions around the world. If your doctor realizes that your condition has exhibited cancerous complications, then you definitely need surgery for the removal of your gallbladder.
Apart from all of the mentioned reasons for the removal of your gallbladder, your doctor may recommend surgery if he or she identifies specific problems of the gallbladder that can either be chronic or acute.
Symptoms That May Suggest a Cholecystectomy
In case you have some of the following symptoms, then you may require a cholecystectomy and should contact a doctor as soon as possible:
- high fever
- episodes of nausea
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin) due to bile duct blockage
- if you are in a lot of pain
However, it is important to note that the type of pain you are experiencing comes from the different parts of your body, which may also affect you in various ways. Pain may include:
- A constant pain that mostly becomes worse after eating a meal.
- Feel unusually full after meals.
- Experiencing pain in the middle of your upper belly or on your right side.
- Pain may also be felt on your right shoulder or at the back in some cases.
Types of Gallbladder Removal Surgeries
The removal of the gallbladder can be done in two ways. They are:
- Open/Traditional Method - In this type of procedure, a big incision is made. The incision length is mostly around 4 to 6 inches, which is made to pass through the upper side of your belly. It is usually done on the right-hand side. In this surgical method, the surgeon can locate the gallbladder and takes it out through the incision made.
- Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy - In this type of surgery, around 3 to 4 small incisions are made. The surgeon then uses a laparoscope to survey the internal parts of the body as he or she looks on a TV monitor. A laparoscope is a long and thin tube with surgical tools and fitted with a camera to help the surgeon visualize the internal body of the patient. Once the gallbladder is identified, it is removed through one of the incisions.
Note that a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is not as invasive as compared to the open procedure. It is a type of surgery that makes just a few incisions on your belly. As a result, there is less bleeding and shorter time for recovery.
However, in some cases, this surgical procedure may not be completely effective. In cases where the laparoscope shows some gallbladder complications or if it is diseased, then a surgeon performs an open procedure for safety.
Cholecystectomy is now the most popular method used in the treatment of gallbladder-related infections. In most cases, people go for cholecystectomy to treat infections and other complications such as cancer, gallstones, or inflammation. There are numerous symptoms that may suggest of a cholecystectomy.
However, it is also important to acknowledge that the symptoms of a gallbladder problem can be similar to other existing infections or diseases. For this reason, it is better to seek your doctor’s advice before making a decision to undergo a cholecystectomy. Your doctor will examine you before the procedure to rule out the possibilities of other infections.