Whenever possible, laparoscopic surgery is preferred over traditional open surgery. This is because itвs less invasive and usually has a shorter recovery time. However, certain complications can make open surgery a better choice, such as when the gallbladder is severely diseased. A severely diseased gallbladder can be more difficult to remove because it may have affected surrounding areas, which makes a laparoscopic procedure more difficult. If someone has had prior abdominal surgeries that caused inflammatory changes near the gallbladder area, such as scar tissue adhesions, this may also make a laparoscopic cholecystectomy less possible. Sometimes, a surgeon will begin using the laparoscopic method, but wonвt be able to safely remove the gallbladder. In this case, theyвll finish the procedure in the open fashion. According to the, a surgeon starts with a laparoscopic method and converts to an open method if needed. The likelihood of an open method is:
less than 1 percent of the time in young, healthy individuals. 1. 3 to 7. 4 percent of the time when gallstones are present in the common bile duct as high as 30 percent if youвre older than 50, male, and have complicating risk factors, such as acute gallbladder inflammation, previous abdominal surgeries, high fever, high, or a history of frequent gallbladder attacks At the hospital or surgery center, youвll change into a hospital gown.
An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand for the purpose of anesthesia. An open gallbladder procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia, so youвll be in a painless, deep sleep before the surgery starts. Your abdomen will first be cleansed with an antiseptic solution to reduce infection risk. Your surgeon will then make an incision in your abdomen. There are two incision types your surgeon may choose. The surgeon might create a slanted incision just below the ribs on the right side of your abdomen. Or they could create an up-and-down incision on the right upper part of your abdomen. This is less common. The skin, muscle, and other tissues are pulled back to expose your gallbladder. Your surgeon will then remove your gallbladder, close the wound with stitches, and then bandage the area. According to the, a laparoscopic gallbladder removal procedure takes about one to two hours. An open procedure can take longer, but the length of time depends on the severity of the gallbladder disease. After your surgery, youвll be taken to the postoperative recovery area and then back to your hospital room. Your vital signs, pain levels, intake and output, and incision site will continue to be monitored until youвre released home. If you have had and need to have your gallbladder removed, there is a chance you could experience uncomfortable symptoms from living without a gallbladder. вMost people don\’t notice anything, and there is no real change in digestion\” after having their gallbladder removed, says William Brugge, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
But, he says, \”A percentage of people have complications\” after. Living Without a Gallbladder Obviously, when youвre living without a, it can no longer store bile, as designed. Bile is a liquid that helps you digest fatty foods. The gallbladder releases it into your small intestine. But, according to Dr. Brugge, when you are not eating for a long period of time, such as at night when you are sleeping, your gallbladder stores the bile. \”The gallbladder holds maybe a cup of fluid,\” says Brugge. However, when you remove the gallbladder, you remove the reservoir, Brugge says. So, even though you will have the same amount of bile in your body, you will not have as much bile in your intestine after your gallbladder is gone. \”The bile is constantly being delivered into your intestine instead of being stored,\” Brugge explains. In theory, this means that you will not digest food as well. \”But most animal species in the world don\’t have gallbladders,\” Brugge says. And your gallbladder is an organ you can live without. Digestion Changes After Gallbladder Removal In the first few weeks after your surgery, your doctor probably will recommend that you eat a mostly while your body adjusts to living without a gallbladder.
After that, \”ninety percent of people go back to eating the way they did before,\” says Brugge. Brugge says that digestive symptoms are relatively uncommon after gallbladder removal. But some people will notice a change in their digestion. \”The most common thing is people have more frequent bowel movements,\” Brugge says. Laura Consolo of Melrose, Mass. , had her gallbladder removed 12 years ago and has experienced some digestive changes. \”I probably noticed the change about two months after the surgery,\” says Consolo, now in her early forties. \”If I ate a lot of fatty foods, I would have a really bad stomachache and need to run to the bathroom,\” she continues. \”It was pretty much a constant thing for a while. \” Managing Digestive Problems After Gallbladder Removal Brugge notes that gallbladder removal-related digestive symptoms usually go away over time, but that some people need to take medications or make lifestyle changes to help manage their symptoms. \”There are medications [people can] take that will bind the bile,\” says Brugge. Avoid eating fatty foods, such as fried foods Eat small, frequent meals Consolo says that she took medications to manage her symptoms, but eventually wanted to wean herself off these drugs. She is now able to manage her symptoms with a high-fiber, low-fat diet.