Gallbladder removal is done when a person has gallstones or their gallbladder is not functioning properly. There are two surgical methods a doctor can choose from to perform a gallbladder removal, laparoscopic and open. Laparoscopic is the more common and less invasive of the two procedures.
You may need a gallbladder removal if you have the following symptoms:
Length of the procedure: 1 hour
Hospital Stay: Generally laparoscopic gallbladder removal is done as an outpatient procedure. At most you will be in the hospital for 24 hours. If you have an open procedure you will be in the hospital for 2 to 6 days.
Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking a gallbladder removal surgery through medical tourism can return home within 24 to 48 hours unless they have an open procedure.
Travel Tip: Although this an outpatient procedure it is best to wait at least 24 hours post operative before traveling.
Your surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. If the procedure is being done with a laparoscope they will make 3 to 4 small incisions in the belly. They will use these incisions to insert the medical tools used for guidance and removal.
The abdomen will be filled with gas so that it expands. This gives the surgeon a better view with the laparoscope camera and more room to work. First, the surgeon will separate the gallbladder from the bile duct and connective blood vessels. Then, they will remove the gallbladder.
During the procedure dye will be inserted into your bile duct. This allows the surgeon to see other stones that are outside your gallbladder and remove them.
During the laparoscopic procedure the surgeon may decide that it is unsafe to remove the gallbladder laparoscopically. In this case they will make a 5 to 7 inch incision in the upper right belly. The rest of the procedure proceeds as it would laparoscopically, only the abdomen is open.
After the procedure you will be taken to recovery. Your vitals will be monitored carefully during this time. If you had a laparoscopic procedure you will be released from care as soon as you can hold down liquids and have recovered from anesthesia. If you had an open procedure you will be moved to your room at this time.Things to expect during recover:
In general gallbladder removal is very successful. Most patients recover rapidly after the procedure and do very well.
As is with any surgery there are risks associated with gallbladder removal surgery. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications: