Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Surgery: Can you live without a Gall Bladder?


This article attempts to demystify some misconceptions that most people have regarding gallbladder surgery. Though most people think that life after gallbladder removal must include a strict fat-free diet, the reality is that people should and must continue to consume fat in moderate amounts even after losing the gallbladder. Fat is generally processed by the bile, which is created in the liver, so after gallbladder removal patients can safely eat fat. However, what people have to understand is that after gallbladder removal, the body does not have any place to store the bile, so the diet has to be suitably adjusted keeping that anatomical deficiency in mind. After gallbladder-removal surgery, the patients still require cholesterol to produce the bile to aid digestion of fat.

Neoalta’s Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery FAQ has captured a list of questions asked by patients about gallbladder surgery and associated answers provided by Laparoscopic Surgeon at Neoalta. This FAQ is an important resource for anyone who wants to find out about the long-range impact of gallbladder surgery on a patient’s life. When stones develop in large quantities in the gallbladder, the laparoscopic surgery is the best way to remove the entire gallbladder. 

Surgical procedures for removing the gallbladder

One common type of surgical procedure used for removing the gallbladder is the laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which allows the patient to leave the hospital the same day of surgery. During this surgery, tiny holes (key holes) are made in the abdomen and a tiny camera projects the organs inside the abdomen to aid the surgery. You can come across an informative discussion of this procedure in NHS, UK’s Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. This article claims that over 60000 gallbladders are removed every year.

In open surgery, the gallbladder is usually removed through one large incision in the abdomen. The open surgery is considered more invasive than the keyhole surgery. In open surgery, the recovery period is longer, and it is only used if certain medical restrictions do not permit a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Both the surgeries can be conducted with general anesthesia.

Recovering from gallbladder-removal surgery

After laparoscopic cholecystectomy, patient can be discharged in a day and can resume normal activities and normal diet within two weeks. However, after an open surgery, the patient may be kept in the hospital for a week and monitored for unusual developments or complications. Patients are usually allowed to resume normal life after six weeks of restrictions.

Possible post-surgical complications

Both keyhole and open surgeries are considered safe and low risk surgical procedures for removing the gallbladder. A common problem is an infection around the incision, which has a 6% to 7% chance of occurrence. Some patients also complain of persistent bloating or diarrhea after consuming fat.

Living without a gallbladder

Life can be normal without a gallbladder. Though the gallbladder is a useful organ it is not essential for metabolic functions of the body. The liver will still available to supply bile for digestion of fatty foods. If certain fatty food items trigger digestive problems, then the patients are advised to avoid such food items.

The post-surgery diet has to be carefully planned out with the help of a dietician or doctor to minimize the chances of complications. You can refer to Tips for Recovering after Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Surgery for valuable advice on lifestyle changes after a gallbladder removal surgery.

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