Gallstones and Gallbladder

Gallbladder symptoms:

Most people with gallstones don’t have any symptoms. So you might not know that you have them unless you have a scan to investigate something else and they show up in that.
You usually only know about gallstones if they move and get stuck in a duct (opening) inside your gallbladder. This can cause the following symptoms.
Severe pain on the upper right side of your tummy, just under your ribs, often after you eat. This may last for several hours and spread to the centre of your back and tip of your right shoulder blade.
• Feeling sick or vomiting.
• A high temperature, shivering and sweating.
• Yellow skin and a yellowing of the whites of your eyes.
If you have these symptoms, you should see a general surgeon

Gallbladder Surgery

A gallbladder removal operation is usually done as keyhole surgery. Your surgeon will make small cuts in your abdomen (tummy). He or she will then gently inflate your abdomen using carbon dioxide gas to create space and to make it easier to see. Your surgeon will pass a laparoscope (a long, thin telescope with a light and camera lens at the tip) through one of the cuts. Your surgeon will be able to see your internal organs on a television screen.

At the end of the operation, the carbon dioxide gas is allowed to escape and the instruments are removed. Your surgeon will close the wounds with stitches and cover them with a dressing.

Sometimes it isn’t possible to remove your gallbladder using keyhole surgery and your surgeon may need to do open surgery instead. This is where they make one larger cut in your abdomen to remove your gallbladder.

About the treatment

Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) is always performed under general anaesthetic. Mr Brennan has a 1% conversion rate to open procedure. This means that only 1 in 100 patients will require a “large cut”.  Most patients go home the same day. It takes 4 weeks to recover. You should be quite mobile within a few days Mr Brennan has one patient who climbed Mont Blanc after ONE week!