Gallbladder surgery is a very common procedure, so much so in fact that over 700,000 people in the United States undergo gallbladder removal every year. Dr. Buckminster Farrow, MD, with offices in Houston and Katy, Texas, has extensive experience in gallbladder surgery and has successfully performed thousands of laparoscopic cholecystectomies.
Problems with your gallbladder are usually caused by gallstones but can also occur when the gallbladder doesn’t function properly. Your gallbladder stores bile, a fluid that helps you digest your food, and normally releases it after you eat. When the gallbladder doesn't empty properly it becomes distended causing pain and other gastrointestinal symptoms. A simple removal of the gallbladder provides fast, effective relief from the pain and problems after eating.
Gallstones are formed when crystals within the bile become hardened. While you may not need surgery if these gallstones aren’t causing pain or blocking your bile ducts, many patients with gallstones benefit from the removal of the gallbladder to eliminate pain and prevent more serious complications later in life.
Common symptoms that might suggest you’re having issues with your gallbladder include:
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek proper medical advice. Dr. Farrow has extensive experience in gallbladder problems and can tell you if surgery is the best option.
Prior to surgery, you’ll undergo a series of tests to determine whether surgery is appropriate for your situation, and if so, how best to proceed. These tests may include:
If Dr. Farrow determines that you would benefit from surgery, laparoscopic surgery is performed for 99% of patients. With laparoscopic surgery, four small incisions are made in your abdomen, and Dr. Farrow uses special cameras and instruments to remove your gallbladder through these tiny holes. This option is minimally invasive, usually performed as an outpatient, although the procedure is done under general anesthesia.
The amount of time it takes to recover after having your gallbladder removed depends on the type of surgery you have.
With laparoscopic surgery, you should be able to return home the day of the surgery and be fully healed within two weeks. Most patients with an office job that doesn’t require strenuous activity can return to work within a week of surgery. Other more strenuous jobs may require 2 weeks before returning. Eating and bowel function usually returns to normal after 2 weeks.
For more information about gallbladder removal, schedule a consultation with Dr. Farrow online or by phone today.