The gallbladder is an organ in the body that lies underneath your liver, and most of us don’t give it a second thought. But the organ can become infected if gallstones develop, and if you have experienced some pain in the area, this could be an obvious sign that you have gallstones in your gallbladder. Gallstones can have different sizes, and if they are bigger, they can obstruct the gallbladder’s tract that can lead to pain and inflammation. But is this cause for concern? Sometimes you can have gallstones that don’t have any symptoms and may not require treatment – but how do you know if you require gallstone surgery? Here are the top symptoms to watch out for – and what to expect.
The gallbladder’s function
As already mentioned, the gallbladder is located underneath the liver. The organ, which is small and looks like a pouch, collects and then stores the bile from the liver, and this bile helps break down the fat in the food we eat.
The top symptoms you need to know if you require gallstone surgery
Gallstones can form in the gallbladder for different reasons, sometimes due to our diet and because of genetics as well. But when you do need gallstone surgery? In some cases, there are no symptoms that gallstones have formed, but once the gallstones have blocked the bile flow and have irritated the gallbladder, this can cause symptoms that range from mild to severe pain.
You may require gallstone surgery if you experience indigestion, especially when it is accompanied by bloating and gas as well as heartburn. Another sign that you may need surgery is a sharp and searing pain in your tummy and if you are nauseated and are vomiting. If you have a fever accompanied by the above symptoms, this could require surgery as well, as gallbladder surgery London experts from The London Surgical Group suggest. If your skin turns yellow and the whites of your eyes have also turned yellow, you may need surgery.
The removal of the gallbladder: the procedure
Once you have the above signs and symptoms and have been recommended for surgery, your gallbladder will be removed. As the same experts in gallstone surgery in London mentioned above confirm, there are two methods for this, one of which is through open surgery and the other through laparoscopic surgery. When you go through open surgery, the specialist will make a single large cut or incision on the belly so they can access it and then remove the gallbladder. Once they have removed the gallbladder, they will then close the cut with stitches.
With laparoscopic surgery, the specialist will make a series of small cuts on the abdomen, and in one of the cuts, they will insert a laparoscope. They will insert a small camera into another cut as well. The specialists will then pump gas into the belly so it can expand and they can see inside more clearly. Using the laparoscope, they will then remove the gallbladder and close the cuts with tape, glue, or stitches. It is more common nowadays for people to have laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder removal unless there are specific reasons why laparoscopic surgery isn’t possible, such as a previous operation on the abdomen or severe problems with the gallbladder.