Cholecystectomy - Medical Negligence Solicitors – Compensation Claims

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Cholecystectomy

A cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure in which the gallbladder is removed. The gallbladder is a pear shaped abdominal organ that lies tucked beneath the liver in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. The gallbladder’s function is to collect and store bile, which is initially made in the liver and is used as a digestive aid.

A person might need a cholecystectomy if there is chronic pain from gallstones, which inhibit the flow of bile. A cholecystectomy is considered a common surgical procedure that usually has no serious complications. In general, a cholecystectomy is a same day procedure although some patients do stay overnight following surgery.

Historically speaking, cholecystectomy procedures were done in an open fashion with a several inch incision required. Now, most cholecystectomy procedures are done laparoscopy. It involves using a small incision to insert a camera to visualize the gallbladder. The area is inflated with carbon dioxide to better see the structures and other incisions are made to insert tools that cut off the gallbladder and remove it through an opening.

The major reason that a cholecystectomy is done is to remove gallstones and get rid of their complications. Other reasons why a cholecystectomy might be done are the following:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
  • Stones within the gallbladder (also called cholelithiasis).
  • Stones in the bile duct (also called choledocholithiasis).
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder (also called cholecystitis).

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Risks

Cholecystitis is generally considered to be a safe procedure but it does carry risks and complications you should know about:

  • There can be bile leakage into the abdominal cavity.
  • Bleeding that cannot be controlled.
  • Blood clots in the deep veins of the legs.
  • Death from pulmonary embolism or other reason.
  • Heart problems.
  • Infection from the wound.
  • Injury to the liver, bile duct, and small intestines.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Postoperative pneumonia.
  • The risk of complications is greater if you’re older or if you have health problems. The risk of surgery is worse if your gallbladder is in bad shape.

    The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia so you do not know that the surgery is taking place. The anaesthesia drugs are given by IV means. A tube is inserted into your throat after the anaesthesia kicks in so you can breathe. The doctor does the cholecystectomy while you are under general anaesthesia.

    The different types of cholecystectomy include:

    • Minimally invasive or laparoscopic cholecystectomy. There are four incisions placed in the area of the gallbladder. A tiny video camera is inserted in one small incision. Carbon dioxide is used in another incision in order to inflate the area. Tools are used in other incisions in order to cut and lift the gallbladder out of the body. Ultrasounds are done to make sure the gallstones aren’t present in the bile ducts. If they are, the stones are removed.
    • In a traditional cholecystectomy, a six inch incision Is made in the right upper quadrant. The liver and gallbladder are directly visualized and the surgeon removes the gallbladder easily. The length of time to undergo an open cholecystectomy is about two hours.

    Following the cholecystectomy, the patient goes to the postoperative recovery area. In a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the patient usually rests for a while and goes home the same day as the surgery. In some cases, they stay overnight the next day in the hospital. If they can eat and drink and have no pain, and if they can walk, they can be discharged. They will recover at home in about one week.

    If the patient has an open cholecystectomy, they will stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days for recovery. After they return home, it takes about four to six weeks for recovery.


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