Gall bladder removal is medically called a cholecystectomy. Basically, gall bladder removal is a surgery that is done to remove the gallbladder with one big incision in the abdomen. This surgery is done to treat the problems related to the bladder. So, gallbladder is a small organ that is present on the underside of the liver. And, its main function is bile storage. Bile is the substance that helps in the breaking down and absorption of fats. The bodily functions don't stop after this gall bladder removal surgery. In fact, normal digestion is absolutely possible without a gallbladder too. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. K. N. Srivastava, Director and Head of Department, General And Minimal Access Surgery, BLK Hospital, Delhi, about the causes, risk factors and post operation care of a Gall bladder removal or cholecystectomy.
Causes of gall bladder removal
A surgeon removes the gall bladder when there is significant pain and then other tests are done to confirm. The surgery is conducted post this process. There are not many reasons behind getting your bladder removed. It is mostly all about gall bladder stones. According to Dr. K.N Srivastava, here are the causes of gall bladder removal or cholecystectomy:
1. Gall bladder stones
The most common indication is a gall bladder stone. Only 5% cases are due to other reasons, otherwise most of the people get a gall bladder removal due to gallstones. Gallstones are basically hard deposits of substances in the bile that can get stuck inside the gallbladder and biliary ducts. Gall bladder stones are very painful in the abdominal area and should be reported immediately.
2. Gall bladder cancer
Whenever there is a development of presence of cancer in an organ, it is preferred to be removed as a treatment. Therefore, a gall bladder removal is done for gall bladder cancer too. It is very uncommon and is difficult to discover at early stages. It often causes no specific symptoms.
These two are main causes for gall bladder removal. Other reasons are very rare like if some patients have injuries or if the patient has Cholecystitis or Pancreatitis, the gall bladder is removed in that case. Or, rare gall bladder conditions like Cholesterolosis, in which there is a buildup of cholesterol esters and they stick to the wall of the gallbladder forming polyps.
Gall bladder removal side effects
The main risk associated with gall bladder removal is that maybe from 0.01-0.1%, while you are taking out the stones, there maybe injury into the duct, that is the common bile duct. Or, there maybe an injury into the artery too. Basically, complications of gall bladder surgery include injury to the bile duct, injury to the artery, and these complication can happen with anyone but are very rare. Gall bladder removal is considered to a very safe surgery otherwise.
Further care tips post cholecystectomy
Dr. Srivastava said, "The only precaution after surgery for any patient who has gone through gall bladder surgery is that the patient has to be on a fat restricted diet for about a month. But after a month, the patient is completely normal in all respects." He further added saying, "They need a one month fat free diet in order to let the body adjust without a gall bladder. Because, bile is secreted from the liver which is stored in the gall bladder. The gall bladder does not have any other function other than storing the bile which is secreted from liver. Once the gall bladder is out the bile, it is directly pumped into the small intestine by the liver itself. So, there is no disadvantage of taking out the gall bladder."
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