Gall bladder is a greenish colored small organ located behind the liver in which the bile is stored. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver which helps in the digestion of the food.When the body has to digest some fat, gall bladder contracts and the bile so released is passed to the small intestine where it helps in the digestive process. Bile contains bile salts, cholesterol, bilirubin, water and fats. When the percentage of bile salts,cholesterol and bilirubin increases in the bile it may result in the solidification of the bile liquid into stones. 80 % of the gall stones are formed by hardened cholesterol and it has an yellowish green color. Gall stones may be in the form of a single larger one or may consist of hundreds of smaller ones.
Gall stones may block the passage of bile to smaller intestine. The blocked bile can cause infection of the gall bladder and rarely it can extend to liver also. Continuance of this block may lead to sever problems like fever, persistent pain and jaundice and can cause fatal damage to vital organs like pancreas, liver, gall bladder etc.
Gall bladder stones can be removed through surgical procedure only. There are two main type of surgical procedures in practice for removing gall bladder stones. One is the traditional procedure in which a long incision is needed and other is the laparoscopic procedure in which only two or three small incisions are needed and hence it is less painful and requires less time for recovery.
This procedure is carried out under general anesthesia. Three or four small incisions are made in the abdomen for this purpose. Through one of these incisions surgeon inserts a laparascope which is a long tube with a video camera connected at one end. Other end of this tube is connected to a monitor which is placed inside the operation theater where surgeon can view the videos taken by the camera. Through the other incisions the surgeon inserts the instruments for the surgery and carries out the surgery remotely controlling the instruments for surgery by viewing the videos taken by the camera through the monitor placed in the theater. Intraoperative cholangiography is a special X-ray procedure which shows the anatomy of the bile. This procedure is made use of in this procedure. Removal of gallbladder does not cause any problems to digestion of the patient.
- Smaller incision and hence less pain, less blood loss and faster recovery
- The patient can leave the hospital in two days.
- The patient can return to normal activities within 7 to 10 days
- No special diets or other cautionary procedures are required after the surgery.
Dr. Nagaraj B Puttaswamy
Senior Consultant - Laparoscopic Surgeon Bariatric Surgeon and Surgical Gastroenterologist