Cholecystectomy

Surgery for the removal of the gallbladder and/or gallstones is most frequently performed by laparoscopy. Patients are usually in hospital for one day or overnight.

Stones that have escaped out of the gallbladder and caused jaundice (yellow eyes, skin and dark urine) are often treated by removal at the time of keyhole surgery or by endoscopy.

We currently perform mini laparoscopic cholecystectomy in suitable patients using very fine instruments and incisions. Mini cholecystectomy results in less scarring and pain than traditional keyhole cholecystectomy. It can be performed as a day procedure.

Outcome: most patients completely cured of their pain. Complications are uncommon and are discussed prior to surgical recommendation. Diarrhoea and recurrent pain are extremely uncommon following surgery.

Balance of risks: the balance is in favour of removal of painful gallstones. It is more dangerous to allow the stones to become infected, cause pancreatitis or jaundice, or develop septicaemia. Very occasionally long standing gallstones may cause gall bladder cancer after many decades.

Gall Bladder Polyps

Most ‘gall bladder polyps’ are actually small, soft stones; however, a true fleshy polyp can cause cancer. Any suspicious polyp approaching 7mm should be removed for diagnosis to prevent cancer development.

For more information see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001318/

cholecystectomy_sm

A Mini-cholecystectomy. Note the small 5mm incisions.

cholecsytectomy - 6 weeks_sm

6 weeks later, showing the wounds have closed.

 

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