Why is the gallbladder removed?

Symptomatic gallbladder disease is usually treated by removing the gallbladder as a “keyhole” or laparoscopic operation. The gallbladder itself is removed as if only the stones were to be removed more stones will be formed over time leading to a recurrence of symptoms. Most gallstones are made predominantly of cholesterol, a fat of lipid substance that is kept in solution with bile salts. An imbalance of the quantity of cholesterol and the bile salts excreted by the liver is thought to result in gallstone formation. There is frequently a hereditary disposition to gallstone formation.

How is surgery performed?

Four small ports are placed in the abdomen and the gallbladder is disconnected from the bile duct and the liver and dissected out and removed via the umbilical incision. An x-ray of the bile duct (intra operative cholangiogram) is performed during surgery if stones in the bile duct are suspected.

What is the recovery period after gallbladder surgery?

Recovery is fast after keyhole gallbladder surgery. Full activity, including sports, can be resumed ten days following surgery.

Are there any dietary restrictions after gallbladder surgery?

There are no generally agreed restrictions following removal of the gallbladder. Patients are often careful with foods that have previously cased biliary pain but can eat an unrestricted diet.

About 5% of patients report that they have some mild urgency of bowel movement in the morning following surgery but this usually subsides in the months following surgery.