Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery
Gallbladder surgery is considered the best option for gallstone treatment. Most people can live a normal life without their gallbladder, as gallbladder removal results in direct passing of the bile from the liver into the small intestine through ducts.
The surgery to remove the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy and is usually performed through laparoscopic techniques which are minimally invasive as compared to open abdominal surgery which requires a long incision. In laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, small incisions are made to insert surgical instruments, along with a laparoscope that has a light source with a camera on the end. The laparoscope helps to locate the gallbladder and tiny instruments are used to surgically remove it.
Gallbladder surgery may require an overnight stay in the hospital. The major complication of gallbladder surgery is injury to the bile ducts that can result in leakage of the bile inside the body and may cause pain and infection.
In cases where gallstones are present inside the bile ducts, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) technique can be used during gallbladder surgery. ERCP technique involves swallowing a long, flexible tube, with a light source, called an endoscope that is connected with a viewing monitor. The endoscope reaches the small intestine through the stomach and the affected duct is located by releasing a special dye. The affected duct can be cut with tiny instruments located on the endoscope, followed by capturing of the gallstones in a mesh basket that is then removed along with the endoscope.
In cases of small and uncalcified gallstones, certain medications can medically dissolve the gallstones. In addition, Lithotripsy (use of shock waves) can be used to crush gallstones. This procedure is frequently used for kidney stones.