The process of patients who have gallbladder surgery through the eyes of a surgeon:

Assoc. Prof. Didem Öncel Yakar

The process of patients who have gallbladder surgery through the eyes of a surgeon:

Most patients go through similar processes regarding the diagnosis of gallstones (cholelithiasis), treatment decision, surgery and recovery process.

How is gallstone disease ususally diagnosed?

1. Stones in the gallbladder may be detected during routine screening (check-up) examinations of people without any complaints.

2. A diagnosis of cholelithiasis can be made in the examinations made by the doctor who is consulted due to complaints such as bloating in the stomach, pain felt especially in the upper right part of the abdomen or in the back that increases after fatty meals.

3. When a patient who was not known to have gallstones before, presents to the Emergency Service with complaints such as severe right upper quadrant pain, nausea and vomiting due to possible inflammatory complications due to these stones, a diagnosis of gallbladder inflammation can be made.

What kind of process awaits the person after the diagnosis of gallstones?

There are two ways in front of the person who is diagnosed to have a stone in the gallbladder. Gallstones detected incidentally without any complaints do not require treatment. Except for a few special cases, it is sufficient to inform these people about possible complaints and complications. About 80% of gallstones remain silent for life. Therefore, surgery is not recommended for people who have no complaints.

Treatment is recommended for people who have complaints that can be attributed to gallstones, especially abdominal pain, indigestion, bloating. For these patients, a planned closed method of removing the gallbladder (elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy) is recommended. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which has been accepted as the gold standard for this procedure for many years, is one of the most frequently performed general surgery operations all over the world.

Whether the diagnosis is known beforehand or not, emergency surgery is recommended after the necessary diagnostic steps in patients who apply to the Emergency Department with some more serious complaints such as severe abdominal pain, fever, and jaundice. In the presence of acute gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) or pancreatic inflammation due to gallstones (biliary pancreatitis), emergency surgical intervention is required within the first two to three days. In this case, cholecystectomy is usually performed with the laparoscopic method.

What kind of pre-operative process do people who are offered planned gallbladder surgery go through?

Patients who are offered elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy generally prefer to be operated by General Surgery specialists experienced in this field. For this reason, they seek the help of an experienced specialist, either through family/friends or healthcare professionals they trust. Although it is natural to get a second opinion during this period, reaching various physicians to prolong this process does not benefit the patient or the health system.

What should be considered in the postoperative period?

Patients can go home mostly on the first day of gallbladder surgery performed with the closed method. Mild to moderate complaints such as abdominal pain, right shoulder-back pain, and swelling may be seen during the first week or ten days. These are usually kept under control with simple pain relievers. Patients return to their normal lives in a day or two, and to work in 7-10 days. Although attention should be paid to food intake in the early period after laparoscopic cholecystectomy, there is no food restriction after the recovery period. The commonly believed idea that eggs etc. cannot be consumed has no medical validity.

Experienced General Surgery specialists support their patients to go through all these processes in a way that is free from medical problems and personal concerns. May health be with us in all areas of our lives.