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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy – When Do You Need It?

A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally-invasive gallbladder removal surgery advised for gallbladder-associated complications.

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 and a laparoscopic cholecystectomy was advised as treatment.

What are the side effects of having your gallbladder removed?

Kriti wanted to know how her daily life would be affected if she went ahead with the gallbladder removal surgery.


“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.

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, so you may not know about their existence for a while.

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 by Dr. Bajaj, Raj was advised gallbladder removal surgery as there was a possibility 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 gallbladder surgery?

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

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy recovery time is quicker as the patient is usually discharged within 24 to 36 hours and will be 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 a faster recovery time.”

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

Raj had a successful laparoscopic cholecystectomy and 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.

Rajendra 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 so a gallbladder removal surgery is advised to eliminate such risks.”

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

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

FAQs about Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Like Kriti, Raj, and Rajendra, 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 a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

What is included in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Procedure Steps?

  • A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder using a tube-like instrument called a laparoscope.
  • Your surgeon will make few, small cuts in the abdomen. The number of cuts and positions may vary between patients.
  • Gas is blown into the abdomen so that the surgeon can get a better visual 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,” says Dr. Bajaj.

What can I expect as part of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy post op?

The patient is started on a liquid diet post-surgery and is put back on a normal diet if their bodies are able to digest it. 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 normal activities 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 quicker.

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?

A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a key-hole surgery so the scars are few and smaller of about 0.5-1 cm length, as compared to an open cholecystectomy.

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?

You don’t need to follow a special diet after your surgery and you should be able to start your normal diet soon!

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

How much does gallbladder removal surgery cost?

The cost for gallbladder removal surgery in Delhi varies from Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 2,10,000 in corporate hospitals.

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

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

At Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in South Delhi, we strive to meet quality, safety as well as your budget.