Gallbladder disease treatment often involves surgery. Many people believe if they modify their diets or activities, they can reverse their condition and stop the symptoms they may be experiencing. However, the wait-and-see strategy is not very effective, especially in the long run. The number of gallstones can increase and their size as well. Gallbladder disease often becomes worse without treatment and can severely diminish overall quality of life. Eventually, gallbladder surgery is necessary to correct the condition.
The Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery
Because there are two types of surgical procedures routinely used to treat patients with gallbladder disorders, it’s important for potential patients to understand the benefits of each one and how they may affect their circumstances. Both traditional and laparoscopic procedures have high success rates. However, many patients opt to have laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery for the following reasons.
Smaller Incisions: Traditional surgery requires a large 5-to-8-inch incision in the abdomen area. Incisions this large tend to cause significant pain during the post-operative phase of gallbladder treatment. Smaller incisions are used to perform laparoscopic surgeries to remove the gallbladder. Smaller incisions made using laparoscopic techniques are less painful and traumatic to the body. Patients experience less pain and are less reliant on pain medications to ease their discomfort during recovery than individuals who have their gallbladder disease treated with traditional surgical techniques.
Time: Laparoscopic surgeries take more time to perform. The average time frame for open cholecystectomy is one to two hours. Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery usually takes two to three hours to complete. However, open cholecystectomy patients require more time to prepare for their procedures in the weeks prior.
Shorter Hospital Stay: Minimally invasive gallbladder surgery patients spend less time as in-patients for recovery before discharge home. Laparoscopic procedures require a shorter hospitalization period. Instead of being discharged after spending a few days up to a week after surgery for monitoring, laparoscopic patients are often discharged the same day or up two days afterwards.
Faster Recovery: Patients having their gallbladders removed laparoscopically experience quicker recoveries. Surgery is less traumatic and damaging to the body. Tiny incisions and smaller surgical areas heal faster than larger surgical fields and incisions used for open gallbladder removal. Post-operative patients usually return to most of their normal activities and routines sooner than they can after traditional surgery.
Less Pain: Minimally invasive procedures mean noticeably less pain post-operatively. On average, post-operative pain from open surgery ranges from two to eight days, with most patients experiencing significant declines in pain around day three. Whereas laparoscopic patients experience less pain initially and even fewer pain sensations within 24 to 48 hours after their procedures.
Less Scarring: Small incisions mean there’s less damage to the skin. As a result, patients develop less scar tissue, bruising, and discoloration. The risk of adhesions, infections, and other skin conditions are much lower than those associated with open cholecystectomies. Patients are able to hide the evidence of surgery and experience fewer negative body image issues about their surgical scars.
Lower Complication Risks: Traditional medical procedures often involve the use of techniques that increase the risk of infections. Because there are fewer risks associated with laparoscopic gallbladder removal, many people assume that this type of procedure is minor and nothing to be too concerned about. There are still some major risks to consider, though the chances of them developing are much lower.
Things to Consider About Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery Removal
Anyone considering laparoscopic gallbladder surgery should keep in mind that the procedure is not suitable for everyone. All doctors’ orders must be followed to ensure minimal complications and an optimal outcome. Though patients can usually go home the same day, they must have someone drive them home. They should also avoid operating any vehicles until they are cleared by the surgeon to do so.
It’s not uncommon for patients to experience a spike in pain and general discomfort as their anesthesia wears off after surgery. To counteract these symptoms, patients should stick to their prescribed pain medication plan and schedule, until they no longer need to.
Complications are rare after laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, but they can occur. Patients should monitor themselves for any of the warning signs.
- Allergic or adverse anesthesia reactions
- Increase in drainage from the incision site
- Increase in pain
- Foul or discolored discharge from the incision site
- Bile duct injury or leakage
- Blood clots
- Intestinal injury
Health deteriorations can occur suddenly. Patients should inform their surgeon if they develop diarrhea, fever, indigestion, or yellowing skin or eyes. Immediate medical care is necessary to prevent a severe infection that can lead to death.
Am I a Good Candidate for Gallbladder Removal Surgery?
Some people due to other health issues or concerns are not good candidates for traditional gallbladder surgery. There are also patients who opt to have their gallbladders removed laparoscopically but may end up having their procedures converted to an open one. Before making a decision, patients should consider the pros and cons of both methods and how they may impact their health and lives beyond removing the diseased portion of their gallbladders.
Dr. Khosravi offers potential patients the opportunity to discuss their concerns during a consultation and undergo a complete medical evaluation to learn specific benefits or disadvantages that may impact their medical goals and overall experience. To learn more about why people choose laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, call Orange County General Robotic Surgery at (714) 541-4996 for an appointment.
To find out if inguinal hernia repair surgery is right for you, Contact Orange County General Robotic Surgery at (714) 706-1257 for a consultation with Dr. Abtin H. Khosravi.