The thought of surgery can be stressful and frightening, however, surgery to remove the gallbladder is a common procedure. Most people do not know what a gallbladder is or where it is located; that is, until there is a problem.
The gallbladder is a very small, pear-shaped organ that resides directly below the liver in the upper right section of the abdomen. The organ is only four inches long and is part of the body’s biliary system that creates, stores, and releases bile. Bile is produced by the liver, and then flows down through bile ducts and into the gallbladder. Even though the gallbladder seems to be an integral part of the process, strangely, it is not necessary. In fact, people who get the organ removed rarely, if ever, have any problems.
Gallstones are the most common reason to remove the gallbladder. The stones are formed from cholesterol and hardened bile. This hardened material blocks the release of any bile and may cause symptoms that range from moderate pain and inflammation of the gallbladder walls, to severe pain and rupturing of those walls.
There are medications and procedures to help remove gallstones, but most of the time, it is best to remove the gallbladder altogether. There are two surgical options: open surgery and laparoscopic removal. In the past, open gallbladder surgery was the only way that doctors could remove the organ. Open surgery requires full anesthesia and a six-inch incision is opened into your abdomen. Once the gallbladder is removed, the hospital stay lasts for approximately one to three days. Full recovery is expected to be one month.
Over time, technology advanced and laparoscopic procedures have largely replaced open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery involves a very small incision made through the abdomen, through which the entire operation is performed. Because the incision is so small in laparoscopic surgery, the pain and recovery time are drastically reduced. In fact, most patients leave the hospital within one day of the procedure. In addition, there is a reduced risk of post-surgical infection. Complications stemming from laparoscopic surgery are well under two percent.
Associates in General & Vascular Surgery are the experts in laparoscopic gallbladder removal and can help determine the best treatment option for you. For any questions regarding gallbladder removal, or any other surgical procedures, contact them at (239) 939-2616. You can also visit their website at www.agvs21c.com.
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