Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure to remove gallbladder. Gall bladder is a small pear shaped organ located just below the stomach. It stores bile, a digestive fluid that helps to break down fatty foods. Gallstones are the most commonly occurring disorder of the gallbladder.
Some of the common symptoms of gallstones are pain, fever, jaundice, vomiting and nausea. If the symptoms worsen your condition, then your doctor will suggest for cholecystectomy, which is either performed laparoscopically or through open surgery. Cholecystectomy procedure is also recommended to remove gallstones in the gallbladder and bile duct. The procedure also treats inflammation of the pancreas and gallbladder. It is the only procedure to prevent the gall stones.
Open or traditional surgery: This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, and your surgeon makes a single large incision in your abdomen. Surgical instruments are inserted through this incision, muscles and tissues are pulled apart to expose liver and gallbladder, and then the gallbladder is removed. Later the incision is sutured and you need to be in the hospital for almost 2 weeks, after which you will be able to go home.
Laparoscopic surgery or keyhole surgery: In this procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions in your abdomen. Through one of the incisions a laparoscope, a small fibre-optic tube with a tiny camera, is inserted into the abdomen. Special surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions to remove the gallbladder. Through this approach, your surgeon will be able to view the surgery on a large screen.
During this procedure, cholangiography (X-ray of the bile duct) is taken to look bile duct for any abnormalities. And if your surgeon finds stones in the bile duct, they can also be removed.
Some of the possible complications after cholecystectomy include bleeding, blood clots, wound infection, bile leakage into the abdomen, and injury to the bile duct, intestine, and blood vessels. However, these complications are mild and can be treated.
Advantages of laparoscopic surgery over open surgery
Laparoscopic surgery requires minimal recovery time, shorter hospital stay, and less pain and discomfort after surgery.
Open surgery requires longer hospital stay and recovery time and requires longer time to operate, and causes a large scar.
Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery
Laparoscopic colorectal surgery is a technique which involves operations on the colon and rectum through 4 or 5 small incisions. A laparoscope (a narrow tube having a tiny camera) is inserted through the incision which gives the surgeon, an enlarged image of the internal organs on a television screen.
Colorectal conditions that can be treated using laparoscopy include:
- Diverticular disease (diverticulitis)
- Rectal polyps
- Rectal cancer
- Severe constipation
- Rectal prolapse (relaxed/unsupported rectal tissue)
- Colon volvulus (twisting or displacement of the intestines)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis)
The surgical procedure is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. Several small incisions (3 to 5) which are less than 0.5 cm are made in the abdomen. Trocar (narrow tube-like instrument) is placed through these openings. A laparoscope is inserted through one of the trocars, which gives an enlarged view of the internal organs on the television screen. The surgery is performed through the others trocars by inserting special instruments or by enlarging one of the incisions to remove part of the colon.
Preparation for Surgery
Preparation for colorectal surgery involves cleansing the colon or “bowel preparation”. Your surgeon will prescribe an enema and antibiotics following which you should not eat solid food for 8 hours before the surgery. You will be advised to discontinue your regular medications such as blood thinners, warfarin, aspirin or ibuprofen.
You can resume normal activities in one or two weeks following the surgery. You can start walking the next day of your surgery. Loose stools are normal for the first two weeks after surgery. Seek medical help if you come across following conditions:
- Watery stools for more than 3 days.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in your abdomen
- Pus discharge or redness around your incision
- Fever with chills (temperature of 100.5 or higher)
- Bleeding from the rectum
The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons is a national association of colon and rectal surgeons and other surgeons dedicated to advancing and promoting the science and practice of the treatment of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the colon, rectum and anus.
Click on the interested topics below to find out more about Colorectal Conditions and Procedures from The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
Colorectal Diseases and Procedures
- Anal Abscess/Fistula
- Anal Cancer
- Anal Fissure
- Anal Warts
- Bowel Incontinence
- Colorectal Cancer
- Crohn’s Disease
- Diverticular Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
- Pilonidal Disease
- Polyps of the Colon and Rectum
- Pruritus Ani
- Rectal Prolapse
- Ulcerative Colitis