AM I A CANDIDATE?
Do you suffer from gallstones? Symptoms vary and often follow fatty meals or occur during the night. They include upper abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting. The pain in the upper abdomen usually increases and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours. Gallstones may cause bile duct infections or pancreatitis.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Surgery to remove the gallbladder is the most common way to treat symptomatic gallstones. The surgeon makes four tiny incisions in the abdomen and inserts surgical instruments and a video camera, which feeds to a monitor. The surgeon carefully separates the gallbladder from the liver, ducts, and other structures.
The surgery commonly takes approximately one hour and requires a general anaesthetic. If gallstones are in the bile ducts the surgeon will attempt to remove them during the surgery, or a physician may use endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to locate and remove them before or after the gallbladder surgery.
Due to the less invasive laparoscopic technique, recovery is swift and usually only an overnight stay in hospital is required. The incisions heal quickly with less pain or scarring than traditional methods of surgery. You can expect to be back to work within two weeks.