Gallbladder Surgery


The gallbladder is a small organ, located under the liver in the upper-right segment of the abdomen. The liver is constantly producing bile, and the gallbladder stores a small portion of this. Bile breaks down fats, aiding digestion. If gallstones are formed, they may block the transmission of bile from the gallbladder to the liver, causing pain, and potentially serious complications.

Gallstones are commonly present in the digestive system, with up to 10% of adults having them. Removing the gallbladder surgically (cholecystectomy) is currently the best treatment for people who have pain and other symptoms caused by gallstones.

gall bladder

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

By far the most common gallbladder procedure Mr Haddawi performs is laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal with keyhole surgery). He creates four very small incisions in the abdomen, and uses special tools to look at and remove the gallbladder. This is a generally safe and effective procedure, with surgical gallbladder removal being the safest way to treat serious gallbladder disease.

Keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery is preferred over traditional (‘open’) surgery because it minimises infection risk, reduces time spent in hospital, reduces pain, and speeds up recovery time. The surgery is done under general anaesthesia. After your procedure, you will usually spend one night in hospital.

Recovery after Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

After the procedure, you may feel some discomfort in either shoulder. This is normal, and due to the carbon dioxide used in surgery. You will be able to eat and drink a light meal a few hours after surgery. It is important to avoid fatty foods. In order to keep your blood circulating and prevent any clots, you will be asked to take a short walk.

Once you have returned home, you will be able to resume most normal activity in three to five days. However, listen to your body and refrain from heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for the time being.

Mr Haddawi will give you specific instructions as to when it is safe to drive, and return to work.

While your digestive system is returning to normal and adjusting to being without a gallbladder, you may have some gas pains and other discomfort when eating. During this period, eat healthy, easy-to-digest foods. Following recovery, most people are able to return to a normal diet.

Possible Complications

Whilst laparoscopic cholecystectomy is generally a safe procedure, there is a small chance of experiencing some complications (as with any surgery). Mr Haddawi works with you closely to ensure any risks are mitigated as much as possible.

  • Short-term nausea is normal after anaesthesia and can be controlled with medication.
  • Infections of the incision sites may occur. This is treated with antibiotics, or removal of the stitches to drain pus. The chance of infection is much lower in keyhole surgery, and can be further reduced by proper wound care and clean dressings.
  • surgery. This risk is greatly lessened when the procedure is done keyhole versus open.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (blood clot) in the legs can occur after any surgery. This is reduced with the use of compressive stockings, and going for short walks after surgery.
  • Bile duct injury (draining the liver/gallbladder) can cause leakage or obstruction of the duct. This may warrant a return to theatre and more surgery to fix it.

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