Many people undergo gallbladder removal surgery in their lifetime. It’s a standard procedure that removes your gallbladder when gallstones and infection form in the gallbladder and bile ducts. Due to its common occurrence, it’s good to understand how long you can postpone a cholecystectomy. If your doctor has confirmed gallstones, how long can you put off gallbladder surgery? Let’s discuss.
Are You Feeling The Pain?
Symptomatic gallstones are challenging to ignore. Many people postpone a checkup, even when they have persistent pain that lasts between 15-20 minutes before disappearing. The pain only grows in intensity, especially after meals.
Sharp stabbing pain in the upper right part of the abdomen may persist for several hours before resolving on its own. Some patients report bloating, fever, chills, and vomiting when gallstones become worse over the months. While throwing up provides some relief, your stomach area may still feel sore and crampy for the next few days.
For most people, this kind of pain is enough to land them in the ER and get a confirmed cholecystitis diagnosis (gallbladder infection). Even with a diagnosis, you may not see the need for immediate surgery, especially if your pain resolves quickly or if a change in your diet improves your situation. Generally, cutting down on fried foods and fatty diets helps minimize the effect of gallstones. However, it’s not a permanent solution.
What Are the Risks of Postponing Gallbladder Surgery?
It helps to understand the risks of pushing gallbladder removal. The effects may take a long or short period to occur, depending on your gallstones. Over time, the gall stones may increase in size, and block the gallbladder or bile duct. If your ducts are blocked, you’ll likely become jaundiced. You’ll also experience inflammation in the gallbladder and pancreas.
These symptoms are extremely painful, which means you’ll barely enjoy regular activities or exert yourself. If you’re already in pain, you have to purchase medication and change your diet to minimize symptoms.
As the infection progresses, you risk gallbladder rupture. The rupture is painful and long-lasting because the leaking contents become infected. Due to infection, you may develop SIRS (systemic inflammatory response syndrome), where the entire body becomes inflamed.
If the infection persists, you may develop sepsis- this is your body’s immune reaction to an infection, causing severe symptoms, organ failure, and in some cases, death. There is no reason to allow your gallbladder infection to accelerate to a life-threatening condition when you can remove it today.
Have The Surgery As Soon As Possible
Generally, your doctor will only push the surgery to wait for the inflammation to go down. You may have to take antibiotics to fight the inflammation before going in for surgery 48-72 hours later. Unfortunately, postponing the procedure only increases the risk of complications and a more extended hospital stay.
Your healthcare provider also decides if your procedure is an emergency or elective. Emergency gallbladder removal is recommended in cases of severe infection and gallbladder rupture. You may have to wait a few days or a week to get the proper blood work, x-rays, and tests done in case of an elective procedure. The doctor may also recommend a two-week delay for certain medications to clear your system.
You can have an emergency procedure or schedule a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery) within the week of diagnosis to organize for sufficient leave, childcare, or resolve personal matters before undergoing the procedure.
A simple way to decide is to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of postponing the surgery or not. How long can you endure the pain, discomfort, medication, dietary restrictions and risk of complications? In the long run, it costs less to get gallbladder removal.
How Long Is The Recovery Period?
A long recovery period is a significant reason for postponing elective surgeries. However, gallbladder removal surgeries are brief and minimally invasive. The short recovery period means you’ll be back on your feet shortly after the procedure.
Thanks to advancements in robotics and surgery, you can now undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This means that you can have gallbladder removal surgery that is minimally invasive. The doctor makes small incisions on your abdomen instead of one long seven-inch cut. In terms of time, this means that you spend less time recovering both inside and outside the hospital. Minimally invasive procedures are excellent for patients concerned about how a lengthy recovery period affects their plans.
Many patients leave the hospital within the same day of the surgery, while others have a short hospital stay of 1-2 days. Afterward, the first week post-surgery is significantly uncomfortable. However, it’s bearable. You can slowly recover from home and be out-and-about in a week.
There are minimal digestive issues, which means you can quickly go back to enjoying your favorite meals. With the surgery, you can also alter your diet to include foods that cause significant discomfort. Just remember to keep it healthy.
You Have Nothing To Worry About
Fear is a common reason to postpone an elective procedure such as gallbladder removal surgery. Understandably, imagining surgery is frightening. Incisions, blood, and stitches may seem painful and unbearable. Not to mention that you probably wonder if the surgery impacts your future.
Fortunately, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgery. Robotic equipment keeps the incisions small, precise, and neat. Once the surgery is complete, you can get back to your activities in a week. What’s more, complications rarely arise from gallbladder surgery. Thousands of patients across the country undergo gall bladder removal and lead healthy lives.
You can live comfortably without your gallbladder, which means you don’t have to worry about future digestive issues. Even if you’ve had abdominal surgery before, you can still undergo a successful laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Where Can You Have Gallbladder Surgery?
Dr. Abtin Khosravi at Ocrobotics Surgery provides laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgeries. When you book an appointment with us, you access an excellent surgeon and the latest technology. After the cholecystectomy, you can quickly go back to your daily life activities. Feel free to call us at (714)-706-1255 for a consultation or book your laparoscopic cholecystectomy with us today.