Gallbladder removal, also known as ‘cholecystectomy’, is a very common treatment option for people experiencing problems with their gallbladder – a small organ in the upper right abdomen.
The gallbladder’s key function is to store bile but it isn’t an essential organ and it’s perfectly possible to live healthily without one, which is why surgery to remove it is often recommended if your gallbladder is causing problems that are interfering with your health and quality of life. Most often this is due to gallstones, which can be extremely painful and can also cause complications, such as blockages and acute pancreatitis.
The surgeons at Hadley Wood Hospital specialise in laparoscopic gallbladder removal, which involves making small keyhole incisions in the abdomen in order to remove the gallbladder, rather than a larger single incision. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic but using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques generally means reduced scarring and quicker recovery times. You’ll usually be able to go home the same or following day but will need to take it easy at first. Most people are able to resume work and regular daily activities within two weeks, although your surgeon will advise you on how long to wait before returning to things like strenuous exercise.