What is cholelithiasis and when should gallbladder surgery be performed?

The gallbladder has the function of contracting to facilitate the removal of bile to aid in digestion. The gallbladder stores bile from the liver and from there it is transported to the intestine, through a series of ducts. The greater the amount of fatty foods in the diet, the greater the need and quantity of bile our organism will need to digest. Therefore, the more the gallbladder will have to work.

Symptoms of cholelithiasis or stones in the gallbladder

Cholelithiasis is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Many patients have no symptoms and are diagnosed with cholelithiasis at regular checkups.

On the other hand, other patients present with a wide variety of symptoms such as heavy digestion, nausea, vomiting, intense abdominal pain (biliary colic) and even fever in the case of an infectious-inflammatory condition (cholecystitis).

When should gallbladder cholelithiasis be operated?

If cholelithiasis is present together with at least one episode of the symptoms described above, cholecystectomy is necessary.

Examination and preparation of gallstones for cholecystectomy

Usually an ultrasound scan will be performed to analyze the situation of stones in the gallbladder and bile ducts. Sometimes the specialist surgeon may find it necessary to perform an MRI when lithiasis in the bile ducts is suspected.

Types of Gallbladder Cholecystectomy

In most cases, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed, since laparoscopic surgery allows the intervention to be performed with small incisions in the abdomen, fewer postoperative complications, less pain and a quicker incorporation of the patient to his daily life.

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Postoperative period after gallbladder surgery

Normally the patient is discharged 24-48 hours after the operation if there are no complications, and can return to their normal routine in 1 or 2 weeks.

Once at home after the operation, the patient should maintain a fat-free diet, especially in the first postoperative month, and avoid exertion.

It is necessary for the patient to resume his normal life as soon as possible, and early mobilization is recommended.