Treatments for Gallstones

Treatments for Gallstones

Gallstones investigations

It is likely that you will have blood tests to check your liver functions and possibly an ultra sound scan of your abdomen to confirm gallstones are present. MRI scans are occasionally required to check that the bile pipe is clear.

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Treatment for Gallstones

If you have symptomatic gall stones you will require surgery to remove your gall bladder. It is common practice to perform this as a key hole (Laparoscopic) operation. Four small incisions are made in your abdomen. A small telescope with a camera (Laparoscope) is used to look inside your abdomen and your gall bladder will be removed through these small incisions. Absorbable sutures will be used to close the incisions.

The benefit of having key hole surgery is that most patients are discharged the same day.

In a small number of patients it may not be possible to perform key hole operation as the nature of their gallstones may require an open procedure. This is a judgement decision made before or sometimes during the operation. The decision is made purely for the benefit and safety of the patient.

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What is the recovery time?

Most patients will go home on the day of surgery especially if they have had key hole surgery. Some may stay overnight and go home the next day. It really depends on each individual patient and how they feel post-surgery. You can expect to get back to normal activity in about a week.

Depending on the type and nature of your job, you can expect to return to work within two weeks.

You can usually return to eating a normal diet because the fat in the diet will not cause colicky abdominal pain. However,  you may experience loose bowels with fat in your diet. The cause for this is not entirely clear although it is thought to be due to excess bile specially bile acids entering the colon and acting as a laxative. If this occurs, you may have to lower the fat content in your diet to resolve it.

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