When Do You Need A Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy – Meaning And FAQs

If you have been advised laparoscopic cholecystectomy, meaning a minimally-invasive procedure for gallbladder removal, you must be suffering from gallbladder-associated complications that require surgical treatment.

What does laparoscopic cholecystectomy mean?

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal surgery is often the only way to permanently treat gallbladder associated conditions like gallstones, gallbladder polyps or gallbladder sludge.

It is done by a skilled surgeon and involves less number of cuts and results in fewer scars.

Three patients approached Dr. Amarchand Bajaj, Senior Laparoscopic Surgeon at Sitaram Bhartia with their queries on treatment for gallstones, gallbladder polyps, and bile sludge.

1. Treatment for Gallstones

One of the patients – Kriti Jain, 48 – was referred to Dr. Bajaj from our general physician with symptoms of bloating and intense abdominal pain that persisted despite medication.

After a thorough check-up, Kriti was diagnosed with gallstones. Her symptoms were an indication she required cholecystectomy surgery, which is when Dr. Bajaj recommended laparoscopic gallbladder removal as treatment.

Kriti wanted to know how her daily life would be affected if she went ahead with the gallbladder removal surgery and was fully relieved of her bloating and pain.

Can you live without a gallbladder?

“You don’t need to worry – you can lead a normal life without a gallbladder!”

Most of the bile produced by the liver already flows directly into the small intestine while only a small portion is stored in the gallbladder. So when the gallbladder is removed, the digestive system is not affected in any major way.

“It is important to note that surgery is necessary to avoid possible complications associated with gallstones such as acute cholecystitis, where the stone causes an obstruction in one of the gallbladder ducts.”

With the doctor’s answers and guidance, Kriti was put at ease. She decided to go ahead with the surgery.

2. Treatment for Gallbladder Polyps

Often gallbladder-associated conditions can be asymptomatic, which means you may not display any symptoms.

Raj Khurana, for example, was a patient referred to Dr. Bajaj from the Diabetes Centre after an ultrasound scan revealed the presence of gallbladder polyps.

Upon examination, Dr. Bajaj advised Raj to have a gallbladder removal surgery as there was a possibility that polyps may turn out to be cancerous.

“A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually advised if the gallbladder polyp is 10 mm or more.”

What is the recovery time for laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

Raj was hesitant about the surgery so he decided to clarify his doubts immediately.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy recovery does not take long – the patient is usually discharged within 24 to 36 hours and is able to resume daily activities within 3 days of the surgery.

“Since this kind of surgery requires smaller and fewer incisions it means less pain and faster recovery time.”

Consult a surgeon as early as possible if you suspect you are suffering from gallbladder polyps.

Raj’s laparoscopic cholecystectomy went smoothly and he resumed his daily routine soon after.

3. Treatment for Gallbladder Sludge

Sometimes gallbladder sludge may present similar symptoms to gallstones like severe pain in the abdomen. However, most patients don’t experience any symptoms.

Sandeep Lal was also advised a laparoscopic cholecystectomy when he was diagnosed with gallbladder sludge.

“There is a possibility that bile sludge may turn into gallbladder stones in the future, and a cholecystectomy, meaning gallbladder removal surgery, is advised to eliminate such risks.”

Feeling reassured after the consultation, Sandeep decided to go ahead with the surgery, as he concluded it was the best option for him.

Shortly after gallbladder removal, he was happy to return to his normal routine without much pain.

FAQs about Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Like Kriti, Raj, and Sandeep, many people come to us with their questions to be better prepared for the surgery.

Here are some frequently asked questions you should keep in mind before opting for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

What Is Included In Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Procedure Steps?

  • A laparoscopic cholecystectomy, meaning the surgical removal of the gallbladder, is done using a tube-like instrument called a laparoscope.
  • Your surgeon will make a few small cuts in the abdomen. The number of cuts and positions may vary between patients.
  • Gas is blown into the abdomen so that it expands and allows the surgeon to get a better view of the internal organs.
  • The surgeon then proceeds to take out the gallbladder following proper procedural steps. After this, the gas is allowed to escape and the small cuts are closed with stitches.

“At our institute we close the cuts in such a way that it seems almost suture-less, resulting in minimal scarring post-surgery,” said Dr. Bajaj.

What Can I Expect As Part Of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Post-Op?

The patient returns to a near-normal diet a few hours after surgery. Usually, patients can resume their normal meals on the same day of operation.

We encourage our patients to attempt physical movement independently post-surgery. In most cases, you will be able to resume your routine within the same day.

What Are Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Complications?

For most patients, laparoscopic cholecystectomy complications are few to none. The patient can return to normal activities within a few days since recovery time is quick.

There are minimal chances of complications like infection, bleeding or biliary injury. These should not be a cause of worry in the hands of an expert surgeon.

Will I Have Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Scars?

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a key-hole surgery so the scars are few and small, only about 0.5-1 cm length.

It is a smaller surgery where you cannot see the scars outside the body in most of the cases. Hence the scars also heal more aesthetically.

What Should I Avoid Eating After Gallbladder Removal?

There is no special diet after cholecystectomy and you should be able to start your normal diet on the same day!

How Much Does Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Cost?

At Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in South Delhi, we provide high standards of quality and safety, and strive to meet your budget. It may be possible for us to offer you a discounted package. Please contact us for more details.

A laparoscopic cholecystectomy offers faster recovery time that involves lesser post-op medicines as well as a shorter hospital stay.

Hence, this is an economical alternative compared to major surgery like an open cholecystectomy.

“A laparoscopic cholecystectomy minimizes the number of surgical incisions to be made. This makes the surgery painless, minimally-risky with faster recovery time. So don’t hesitate in opting for the surgery if you need it,” concluded Dr. Bajaj.

Come in for a consultation with Dr. Amarchand Bajaj! Call us on +918800816657 to book your appointment.