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|Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder - Gallstone Removal Surgery) Cost Average||$5,000 - $13,700||Free Quote|
Gallbladder Removal (Cholecystectomy) Surgery Introduction
A cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, an organ located just under the liver on the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It is primarily performed to treat gallstones. The two basic types of this procedure are open cholecystectomy and the laparoscopic approach. The laparoscopic procedure is currently used for approximately 80% of cases. The laparoscopic method uses several small incisions to allow insertion of small thin tubes with video cameras (laparoscopes) and surgical instruments attached to perform the surgery. The open method involves a surgical incision in the abdomen just below the ribs. The laparoscopic method generally produces less postoperative pain, lower chance of hospitalization, a shorter recovery period and better cosmetic results but will not be preferred in cases where the gallbladder is significantly swollen or other complicating factors exist. Important to note is that if the gallbladder is found to be severely inflamed during laparoscopic surgery, the procedure may then be turned into a traditional operation. Your doctor will decide which type of surgery is best for you. Although there are ways to drain the gallbladder and remove the stones, surgery is still the best method. A major drawback to medical therapy is the high recurrence rate of stones in those treated. Medications don't work well for symptomatic gallstones.
Patient Preparation for Gallbladder Removal Surgery (Cholecystectomy)
A physical examination will be performed along with blood or other diagnostic tests. It is particularly important to inform the physician of all medications or vitamins taken regularly or if you are pregnant (or think you might be pregnant) or if you have heart, lung or other medical conditions that may need special attention, and, finally, if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, aspirin, or other medications that affect blood clotting. You will be given instructions in advance that will outline what you should and should not do in preparation for the surgery; be sure to read and follow those instructions. You will be asked to fast for eight hours before the procedure, generally after midnight. Arrangements may need to be made for transportation after the surgery is complete. If you are given a prescription for pain medication, have it filled prior to surgery.
What to expect during and after a Cholecystectomy
The surgery usually takes less than an hour and can be performed on an outpatient basis. Both methods explained above are generally performed while you are asleep under general anesthesia. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted in your arm or hand and you heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood oxygen level will be monitored during the surgery. The surgical site will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution, the surgical procedure will be performed and the gallbladder removed. The skin incision(s) will be closed and a sterile bandage/dressing or adhesive strips will be applied.
After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation. Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert, you will most often be discharged to your home. Otherwise you will stay in the hospital one or two days. Before being discharged, you will be given instructions about care for your incisions, limits on activities and what you should do to aid your recovery. With a laparoscopic procedure, the patient is advised to gradually resume normal activities over a three-day period. In the case of an open cholecystectomy, you will normally be discharged from the hospital within three to five days, with return to work approximately four to six weeks after the procedure. Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions, depending on your particular situation. Notify your physician to report any of the following: fever and/or chills; redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage from the incision site(s); increased pain around the incision site(s); abdominal pain, cramping, or swelling; pain behind the breastbone.
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