Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the removal of your gall bladder using keyhole surgery.
Gallstones and biliary dyskinesia are common problems. At Ramsay Health Care UK, our experienced and skilled surgeons regularly perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy to remove your gallbladder to relieve your pain and allow you to eat a normal diet.
We offer fast access to appointments so you won’t have to wait for an appointment to see a consultant specialist or for your treatment if required.
Our Ramsay hospitals offer the latest in technology for your surgery. Many of our hospitals have endoscopy unit that are dedicated areas for endoscopy procedures such as a Laparoscopy cholecystectomy. Our endoscopy units have JAG accreditation for high-quality endoscopy services.
We are committed to providing safe care when you visit one of our hospitals. Every Ramsay hospital follows strict protocols to control and prevent infection, including Covid 19.
Laparoscopic means keyhole or minimally invasive surgery and cholecystectomy means removing the gallbladder.
Laparoscopic surgery to remove your gallbladder is performed if you have developed symptoms such as pain or complications from gallstones or your gallbladder is not functioning correctly. For example, your gallbladder may not contract and empty the way it should. This is called biliary dyskinesia.
You will usually have a general anaesthetic before your laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The operation will take about an hour.
Your surgeon will make several small cuts on your stomach. They will insert a tube connected to a light and camera (called a laparoscope) to see inside your stomach and surgical instruments to perform the operation. Carbon dioxide will be used to inflate your stomach to provide room to work. Your surgeon will remove your gallbladder from your abdomen through one of the small cuts.
If you have any gallstones lodged in the tube attached to your gallbladder, called a bile duct, your surgeon may remove them at the same time or they may remove them at a later date often using the outpatient procedure called ERCP.
Yes, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a major surgery. It is a common surgical procedure most often used to treat symptomatic gallstones. As a major surgery, you should discuss with your surgeon the risks and potential complications.
Recovery after a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually quick. You may be able to go home the day of your surgery or the day after following an overnight stay in hospital. You should arrange for someone to drive you home as the effects of anaesthesia can take 24 hours to wear off.
You may feel pain from your surgical wounds and your abdomen might feel bloated. You can take pain relief prescribed by your healthcare team for a few days until the pain eases.
You can expect to go back to work or your normal activities after ten to 14 days. It may be longer, depending on the type of job you do. Initially, you may find that you feel more tired than normal as your body is using energy for your recovery, so build your activities up gradually.
Before resuming driving, you should be comfortable in your driving position and able to safely control your car, including performing an emergency stop.
The cost of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy will depend on whether you also have treatment to remove gallstones in your bile ducts at the same time and your Ramsay hospital of choice.
You will receive a formal quotation price following your consultation with one of our expert surgeons. This formal quote for your laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.
Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is ,covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before starting your treatment.
We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure yourself. These include:
The gallbladder does have a function in concentrating and secreting bile into your digestive system and appears to play a role in metabolism. However following gallbladder surgery, the liver continues to produce enough bile for digestion, entering the digestive system continuously through your bile duct. As a result for the majority of people there is no noticeable difference to your digestion.
Whilst you are often advised to alter your diet to reduce intake of fats prior to surgery, after gallbladder removal there are no special dietary requirements. Some patients may initially experience loose stools or bloating with fatty foods, however in most cases this settles within a few weeks of surgery.
Surgery is the most effective treatment for gallstones. However a ‘watchful waiting’ policy may be appropriate in those where the risks of anaesthetic and surgery are deemed too high, or in those with very infrequent symptoms who have a clear understanding of the risk of further attacks of pain or complications arising from gallstones. Whilst there is medication that can reduce the formation of gallstones or dissolve very small stones, it is often ineffective and there is a high chance of stones reforming.
Gallstones that have entered the main bile duct can be removed with endoscopy (telescope investigation performed with a small camera passed via the mouth) however any remaining stones in the gallbladder cannot be effectively removed this way.
Whilst there is some evidence that bile acids, that are concentrated in and secreted from the gallbladder, play a role in your metabolism, it is not thought that removal of the gallbladder itself leads to weight gain. In those who do gain weight after surgery, it may be linked to resuming an unrestricted diet after surgery, having often avoided all fat preoperatively and lost weight.
Mr Ravindra Date
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