The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located in the upper right part of the abdomen, just beneath the liver. its main function is to store and concentrate bile, a fluid produced by the liver that helps with the digestion of fats.
A cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the gallbladder.
The most common reason for a cholecystectomy is the presence of gallstones, which are hard, pebble-like formations that can form in the gallbladder. Gallstones can cause a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes). They can also lead to inflammation and infection of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) or blockages in the bile ducts.
There are two main types of cholecystectomy: open and laparoscopic. An open cholecystectomy is a traditional surgical procedure that involves making a large incision in the abdomen to access the gallbladder. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy, on the other hand, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses several small incisions and specialised instruments to remove the gallbladder. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most common method used today as it is less invasive and has a faster recovery time.
The procedure typically takes 1-2 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. The patient will stay in the hospital for 1-4 days after the surgery, during which time they will be monitored for any complications. The recovery time for an open cholecystectomy is typically 4-6 weeks, while it is only 1-2 weeks for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
After the surgery, patients will need to follow a low-fat diet for several weeks to help their bodies adjust to the absence of the gallbladder. They will also need to avoid lifting heavy objects and engaging in other strenuous activities for several weeks. Most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks of the surgery.
In rare cases, complications can occur after a cholecystectomy, such as infection, bleeding, or injury to the bile ducts or other organs. However, these complications are generally rare, and the overall risk of complications is low. With proper care and follow-up, most patients are able to return to a normal, healthy life after a cholecystectomy.
The outcome of surgical treatment varies and depends on various factors such as the stage and location of the cancer, the overall health of the patient and the expertise of the surgical team.
Recovery from surgery can take several weeks or even months, depending on the extent of the surgery. Pain and discomfort are common after the surgery, and patients will likely need to follow a special diet to help the healing process. They will also need to have regular follow-up appointments with Dr Lorenzo to monitor their recovery.