Gallbladder is a small organ situated near the liver, with primary function of bile storage. This bile juice is useful for the breakdown of fats in the body. Any extra bile produced by the liver gets stored in the gall bladder and is released by the bladder when your meals have those fats which need to be broken down for digestion. Thus, gall bladder is a storage organ and hence the only difference without a gallbladder would be that the bile will not be stored in the gallbladder.
When the accumulation of hard fragments in the gallbladder starts hurting or causes other symptoms of indigestion, the doctor usually suggests a surgery for its removal. There is no other way to dissolve or remove these gallstones. The gall bladder surgery is called ‘cholecystectomy’ and is one of the most common surgeries.
Types of Gallbladder surgery
The gall bladder surgery is performed in two ways:
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: Also called the ‘keyhole surgery, it doesn’t require a big incision on your belly but the doctor makes four small cuts. A tiny video camera fitted with light is inserted from the cut through a thin, flexible tube. Further, the doctor inserts special tools with which they remove the diseased organ.
Open cholecystectomy is done by making a 5- to 7- inch long incision (cut) on the belly. It is usually done in cases with bleeding disorder, being overweight, or in last trimester of pregnancy or have severe gallbladder disease.
The cholecystectomy surgery is done with general anesthesia and hence you do not feel the pain or the procedure at that time. Once the surgery is completed, you are being shifted to the recovery room till the effect of anesthesia goes off. Then you are shifted to hospital room.
In case of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, usually people go home the same day with some cases requiring a one night stay in the hospital. It takes about one week to recover fully.
In open gallbladder removal cases, one is expected to spend two to three days in hospital for recovery and four to six weeks for complete recovery.
Living without the Gallbladder:
Usually one can lead the life without any major change in one’s life yet there might be slight discomfort in certain aspects. A very small percentage of people might face complications with their digestion. The best way to overcome digestion related problems is to be on a low fat diet for the initial few weeks which will help the body adapt to living without a gallbladder. A big ninety percent of the surgery cases are able to resume their normal diet. One might notice frequent bowel movements which can be adjusted gradually.
Easy tips to manage the change:
- Shift to a low-fat diet.
- Avoid fatty foods like fried foods etc.
- Have small but frequent meals.
- Avoid eating heavy dinner, especially after fasting for the whole day.
Little care post the surgery will set you free to void created by removal of this pear-shaped organ.