Gallbladder surgery: how it is performed and postoperative care

 Gallbladder surgery: how it is performed and postoperative care

Lena Fisher

The gallbladder is the organ located in the liver that is responsible for storing bile. However, when it starts to develop problems - usually inflammation or stones - surgery becomes an alternative to remove it. It is the famous "gallbladder surgery", or cholecystectomy, which is also indicated in cases of polyps (abnormal tissue growth) and cancer.

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How is gallbladder surgery performed?

At first, the surgery for the removal of the gallbladder has two forms: the conventional and the laparoscopic. See how each one works.

  • Conventional: The doctor makes an incision in the patient's abdomen through which the gallbladder is removed. Although safe, the method is more invasive and leaves a visible scar.
  • By videolaparoscopy The "small hole", or "laser" surgery is the most adopted by doctors because it is less invasive. The procedure makes four small incisions (cuts) to remove the gallbladder, whose scars are small and practically imperceptible.

When to have gallbladder surgery?

Gallbladder surgery is indicated whenever the patient has stones, stones or polyps. However, in the latter case, the indication of the surgical procedure depends on the size and number of polyps. Most of the time, the surgery follows a schedule. But there are cases in which the procedure is immediate if there is infection or acute inflammation of the organ with intense pain.

Is there any preparation for gallbladder surgery?

For the surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder, it is important to perform pre-operative tests to check for any alterations. In addition, the surgeon needs the authorization of a cardiologist if the person has any cardiovascular disease. Finally, the day before the intervention, the patient must fast for 8 hours, including water.

How is the recovery?

The recovery after the gallbladder surgery is fast and not very painful. Although it is quiet, it is important to respect the absolute rest of two days. Soon after seven days, it is possible to resume routine activities. However, no heavy lifting or intense physical effort - only after 30 days of surgery to avoid complications.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

What is the diet like after gallbladder surgery?

After the procedure, the body needs to "learn" to live without the gallbladder, so it is important to avoid fried foods, sweets, pasta, bread, and other sources of simple carbohydrates.

Do I need to do any follow-up?

The answer is yes: the patient must return to the doctor to have the surgical wound evaluated to check for signs of infection and monitor the body's adaptation without the organ. In general, there are two return evaluations: the first visit one week after the surgical procedure and the second one before completing 30 days of surgery.

Is gallbladder surgery covered by SUS?

Both methods are covered by SUS (Brazilian Unified Health System), that is, they are free of charge by this system.

Does the surgery offer any risks?

As with all medical procedures, gallbladder surgery has some risks, even if minimal. However, the risk is usually in patients with comorbidities such as severe heart or kidney disease. Some of these risks are: bile duct injury, bleeding, and infection, which can occur in any surgical procedure.

Are there any contraindications for gallbladder surgery?

According to doctors, there are some cases in which gallbladder surgery is not indicated:

  • Very advanced age.
  • Heart, lung, and kidney diseases.
  • Altered blood clotting (risk of stroke).

When there is a contraindication, patients are treated with medication to ease the pain and discomfort caused by the change or gallstone.

Sources: Felipe Borges, gastroenterologist at BP - The Beneficência Portuguesa Hospital of São Paulo; Thaís Gomes Marquês - Digestive Tract and General Surgeon at Santa Cruz Japanese Hospital.

Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.