The abdomen is a complicated network of organs and tissues that are prone to a variety of medical conditions. Gallstones are one of the many abdominal problems people can experience. When gallstones start causing pain, a surgical procedure may be required to remove the gallbladder. Here’s what you should know about gallstones and gallbladder surgery.
Do You Need Surgery for Gallstones?
What Are Gallstones?
The gallbladder is a small organ that helps your body process bile, which helps with digestion and the absorption of fat. Gallstones—hard particles usually made of cholesterol—can form in the gallbladder or bile duct. Most people who have gallstones never experience pain or other symptoms because their stones are small, but gallstones can grow as large as golf balls.
When Is Surgery Recommended?
If gallstones become large enough to cause blockages or serious pain, your doctor may consider surgery to remove your gallbladder. A third of patients who experience a gallstone attack—burning and intense abdominal pain—never experience a second attack. Your doctor, therefore, may wait before recommending a surgical procedure to remove your gallbladder.
What Are the Different Types of Gallbladder Surgery?
There are two varieties of gallbladder surgery. The first is laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic surgery is also known as keyhole surgery. During this outpatient procedure, a surgeon makes a series of small incisions in the abdomen, inserting a light, camera, and surgical tools to take the gallbladder out. Patients usually go home the same day and can return to their daily routine in two weeks.
Due to complications from obesity or pregnancy, your doctor may opt for open surgery to remove your gallbladder. In this surgical procedure, surgeons make a large 5- to 7-inch incision. Patients who undergo open surgery usually remain in the hospital for a few days, and recovery periods lasts 6 to 8 weeks.
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort related to gallstones, contact Ozark Surgical Group in Mountain Home, AR. The physicians of this trusted surgical practice have experience removing gallbladders using open and laparoscopic surgical techniques. For more information on surgical procedures and their coordinated approach to health care, visit them online, or contact them by phone at (870) 425-9120.