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Gallbladder Surgery

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The gallbladder is an organ located just below the liver, adjacent to the liver. It functions to store bile, which is produced in the liver and helps the digestion of fats. The bile in the gallbladder duct (cystic duct), which varies between 1 - 5 cm in length, is poured into the main bile duct coming from the liver. The common bile duct (choledoch) opens into the second part of the duodenum. It also leads to the pancreatic duct, where digestive enzymes from the pancreas are poured.

Normally, the gallbladder is full of bile between meals. With the meal, the gallbladder is stimulated by the food coming into the duodenum and discharges the bile in the gallbladder into the duodenum with the main bile duct.

What is Gallbladder? Where is it located?

Gallstones are small stones that form in the gallbladder. They can be like dense mud, as well as stones up to 10 cm in size, filling the entire gallbladder.


In case of stones in the gallbladder, the gallbladder may not be able to empty completely if the gallbladder duct (cystic duct) is blocked, in which case inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) may develop. It may pass through the gallbladder duct and fall into the main bile duct (choledoch), in which case conditions such as inflammation of the main bile duct (cholangitis), jaundice and elevated liver enzymes may develop. Inflammation of the pancreatic gland (pancreatitis) may also develop due to small gallstones.

What is gallbladder stone?

They can cause abdominal pain, usually located in the upper right side of the abdomen, under the ribs. It may also cause complaints such as back pain, nausea and vomiting reflected on the right shoulder or waist. Very severe abdominal pain, abdominal pain radiating to the right shoulder, jaundice, high fever are indicators of a serious condition due to gallstones.

What are the symptoms of gallbladder stones?

Stones in the gallbladder can be visualised by ultrasonography. Depending on your clinical complaints, physical examination findings and the results of your laboratory tests, further imaging methods such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MR), endoscopic ultrasonography, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) may be required.

Gallbladder Stone Diagnosis

Assoc. Dr. Mutlu Ünver graduated from Ege University Faculty of Medicine. Mutlu Ünver, who completed his specialty training at Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Department of General Surgery, serves his patients in his own clinic.

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Mutlu Ünver

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Gallbladder Stone Treatment

After your complaints, physical examination findings, and radiological and laboratory tests are evaluated, your appropriate treatment will be determined. If you do not have any complaints if a small stone or sludge is detected in the gallbladder during routine checks, it can be followed without surgery; however, there is a possibility that complaints may develop over the years or you may develop inflammation of the gallbladder.

The main treatment for gallstones is surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). Gallbladder surgery can be performed by closed (laparoscopic) or open method.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is an operation to remove the gallbladder by inflating the abdomen with gas, using a camera and thin hand tools without making a very large incision.

What is Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery (Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy)?

Risks such as bleeding, bile duct injuries adjacent to the gallbladder, bile leaks, intestinal injuries, infection may develop in the postoperative period.

What are the risks of gallbladder surgery?

After the operation, patients can usually be discharged from the hospital the next morning. Since it is an operation that does not affect your digestive system much, it is generally not expected to have a problem in eating and drinking, but it is recommended to avoid gas-forming foods and drinks in the first period after surgery.

Gallbladder polyps are finger-shaped protrusions that develop from the mucosa forming the inner lining of the gallbladder. They are usually detected by ultrasonography or during pathological examination after gallbladder surgery. They are generally benign and do not carry a risk of cancer, but gallbladder surgery is recommended for patients older than 50 years, polyps larger than 1 cm, polyps with a wide base and rapid growth because of the risk of cancer. Gallbladder polyp surgery can be performed by closed method.

Gallbladder Polyps

What kind of a process awaits you after gallbladder surgery?

Gallbladder cancer is a rapidly progressing cancer originating from the gallbladder. It is more common in the 60s-70s and in women. Although the cause is not known exactly, the risk of gallbladder cancer is increased in chronic gallbladder inflammation, stones larger than 3 cm, polyps larger than 1 cm. It may cause complaints such as weight loss, jaundice, abdominal pain, palpable swelling. It can be detected by ultrasonography, and computerised tomography may be recommended for cancer staging. Surgical treatment options vary according to the spread of the disease. For an early cancer limited to the gallbladder wall, removal of only the gallbladder may be sufficient, but in more advanced cases, removal of a larger area with the liver bed and bile ducts (sometimes half of the liver) may be necessary. Gallbladder cancer can also be diagnosed by pathological evaluation of the gallbladder after gallbladder surgery. Therefore, follow-up of the pathological results after gallbladder surgery is necessary.

Gallbladder Cancer

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