GALLBLADDER SURGERY



Gallbladder disease is one of the most common problems among the Indian population. The most common, out of these diseases, is gallstone disease. However, India also has one of the highest incidences of gallbladder cancer in the world. At Home of Healing in Chennai, our chief surgeon Dr. Rengan is a Gallbladder stone specialist who has performed numerous Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgeries over the past 30 years. Gallbladder stones is a simple problem that can be treated with surgery.

What is the gallbladder?

The gallbladder is an organ of the body that is situated right below the liver. It is a small sac mainly responsible for holding bile from the liver, concentrating it and passing it on the small intestine when necessary. However, all this also makes it susceptible to many diseases and infections. One of the most common problems is gall bladder stones or gallstones. Dr Rengan who has been performing laparoscopic gallbladder surgery in Chennai for over 30 years will explain to you about gallstones in this article.

gallbladder stones

What are gallstones?

Gallstones are formed in the gall bladder due to various reasons. They are accumulations of bile salts and sometimes, of other substances indicative of different diseases. They are common among older women and people with certain blood disorders. Gallstones are mostly benign and asymptomatic conditions, however, they can lead to pain and obstruction of the bile duct if allowed to progress. Further, in some rare cases, long-term gallstones can lead to cancer.

There are mainly two types of gallstones:

Cholesterol stones: Almost 80% of gallstones are cholesterol stones and they are yellow-green in color.

Pigment stones: These are composed of bilirubin and are smaller and darker when compared to cholesterol stones.

Dr Rengan, gallbladder stone specialist always advises patients that both types of stones can be treated with laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.

What is cholecystitis?

Cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder, most often due to gallstones when they obstruct one of the biliary ducts. As the gallbladder is unable to empty its contents, it leads to pain and eventually, infection and fever. Removal of the gallbladder can lead to the resolution of these symptoms. The relief is often almost immediate and remarkable after such surgeries.

Which people are at risk for gall stones?

  • Obese people
  • Women > 50
  • People consuming a high-fat diet
  • After other major abdominal surgeries
  • Certain blood disorders like sickle cell anemia
  • Patients with family history

What are the symptoms associated with gallstones?

Pain in the upper belly and back, nausea, and vomiting are some of the symptoms associated with gallstones. This pain is often “colicky”. Often gallstones may cause cholecystitis – infection of the gallbladder. This infection can lead to serious symptoms like fever, pain and tenderness of the right upper abdomen. When that happens, you may need emergency surgery to remove the gallbladder. Be it gallstones or cholecystitis, Dr. Rengan who has been performing laparoscopic gallbladder surgery in Chennai has the expertise required to diagnose and treat the condition.

What happens when you leave gallstones untreated?

When the stones are small, there is often no problem. When there is more than one stone or a large stone, surgery for removal of gallbladder is often the only solution. Although the symptoms might seem like they come and go, if gallstones are left untreated, the pain can eventually be severe and long-standing. Symptoms of severe infection and pus formation can occur with cholecystitis and at this point, emergency surgery is indicated. If the gallbladder keeps getting infected and inflamed over many years, it can rarely lead to a malignancy or cancer in the gallbladder.

Do I need to get surgery for gallstones?

Although one-off mild cases of gallstones can be treated with medicines and some lifestyle changes, most cases definitely need surgery. Similarly, if the gallbladder has been infected, surgery has to be definitely performed in order to prevent life-threatening complications from happening. The first thing that will be done for you by Dr. Rengan at Home of Healing is to investigate all possible causes of the issue. He will first have a detailed conversation with you about your pain and lifestyle habits, followed by a physical examination. Blood tests and Ultrasound will also be done for a precise diagnosis. Only after considering all factors including long-term consequences and general physical health, will surgery be advised.

Dr. Rengan, Gallbladder stone specialist in Chennai understands that making a decision to get surgery, especially while in pain, is a difficult and scary one. At our center, you can rest assured that your concerns and expectations will be the first consideration at every step of the way.

What surgery is performed for gallstones?

Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure to remove gallbladder. Cholecystectomy is a common treatment for symptomatic gallstones and other disorders in the gallbladder.

gallbladder removal surgery

Currently, laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is the gold standard. It is simple and highly effective when done by experts. Laparoscopic surgery is also called Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. In this type of surgery, a few small incisions are made in the abdomen and some tubes are inserted into the abdomen via these incisions. These tube ends have surgical instruments and a video camera that a surgeon can control from the outside. Thus, the surgery can be done without fully opening up the abdomen or causing a lot of blood loss.

In fact, this type of surgery is very beneficial to the patient as recovery time is faster and rate of complications is also lower. When the gallbladder is removed, the relief felt by patients can be almost instantaneous.

In some patients where the structures are atypical or if it is an emergency situation, traditional open surgery (open cholecystectomy) may be performed. This type of surgery is where a large incision is made over the area and the gallbladder is directly accessed and removed. This is also a surgery with good success rates and although more daunting than laparoscopic surgery, is just as effective. However, recovery time usually takes a little longer.

What happens after the surgery?

Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is not a long procedure and if uncomplicated, the patient can even leave the hospital in a day or two after the surgery. Open surgery might take a longer recovery time with more days of hospitalization, however, this allows easier monitoring of your recovery and progression. On discharge, we will prescribe and provide adequate medicines and pain-killers to aid in recovery as well as give detailed instructions on wound care. A review appointment will also be scheduled after discussion with you. Further, phone numbers will be provided for you to call in case of any emergency or suspicious symptoms.

Dr Rengan is an experienced and well-respected gallbladder surgeon in Chennai and South India who has performed thousands of laparoscopic gallbladder removal and gallstone surgeries for the past 30 years. Consult him for further advice.