At Surgical Associates of South Florida, LLC in South Miami, FL, your health is our top priority. If you’re one of the 25 million Americans who suffer from gallstones every year, we can help you improve your quality of life and mitigate your risk of future health problems with cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal surgery. Today, we reveal what results you should expect from gallbladder surgery, as well as what you can expect from the procedure itself.
What Results You Should Expect From Gallbladder Surgery
After gallbladder surgery, you can expect to never suffer from gallstones again. Besides the obvious benefit of no longer suffering from severe back, shoulder, and abdominal pain, you also eliminate your risk of developing future health complications related to gallstones.
By far, the most common complication of gallstones is severe gallbladder inflammation, a condition sometimes known as cholecystitis. This condition occurs when a gallstone becomes lodged in the neck of the gallbladder and usually results in severe pain in the right quadrant of the abdomen. However, it may also result in pain in the upper center of your abdomen, just below the breastbone. Finally, you may experience severe shoulder or back pain.
Two other common complications that result from gallstones include the blockage of the common bile duct and the blockage of the pancreatic duct. While not as common as the aforementioned complications, untreated gallstones can also lead to gallbladder cancer, which can metastasize and affect surrounding organ and bone tissue.
What Can I Expect From the Recovery Process?
Everyone’s recovery experience is unique. However, after gallbladder removal at our state-of-the-art facility, you can expect that you will only need to rest for approximately one week post-op.
This is in stark contrast to individuals who undergo alternative methods of gallbladder removal and need to recover for several week: often up to six.
Will I Lose Weight After My Procedure?
If you experience weight loss after your procedure, it will only be temporary. While not everyone who undergoes this procedure experiences weight loss, those that do find that their weight normalizes within three weeks post-op. If you’re worried about losing too much weight too quickly, and losing fat rather than water weight, purchase a scale in advance of your procedure that tells displays your body fat percentage.
Use it to track your body fat percentage every day for several weeks and you’ll get a good idea of what is normal for you. Continue to use the scale during the first three weeks post-op and you will see that your body fat percentage is not changing significantly.
What You Should Expect During Gallbladder Surgery
There are several gallbladder surgery techniques, but we offer laparoscopic cholecystectomy. There are several advantages to this technique, and one of the most significant advantages is it does not require an overnight hospital stay, saving you a significant amount of money.
This procedure starts much like any other gallbladder surgery with the sanitizing of the abdomen and the administration of anesthesia. However, it is after the cleansing that it differs from alternatives. If you undergo open cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), you will be administered general anesthesia which numbs your entire body and renders you unconscious.
With the laparoscopic cholecystectomy that we offer, you will only need local anesthesia to numb the abdomen and sedation to put you to sleep. To perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy, we will make four tiny incisions in your abdomen, remove your gallbladder, and close the incisions with sutures.
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history and current symptoms to determine if gallbladder removal is appropriate for you. If it is, we will determine which removal technique is appropriate for your unique needs. If your gallstones are severe, we may determine that you would benefit the most from robot-assisted gallbladder removal.
What to Expect During Preparation for This Procedure
During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of pre-op instructions. You may need to stop taking certain medications and supplements that you currently take regularly, such as NSAIDs, certain anti-depressants and multivitamins that include vitamin E.
Such medications and supplements are either designed to thin the blood or have the potential side effect of thinning the blood. What is universal regarding preparation for this procedure is a very brief fast.
We encourage our clients to start a food and water fast at midnight before their procedure. This is because your stomach must be completely empty before you are administered local anesthesia and sedation.
Learn More About This Life-Changing Procedure Today
If you are experiencing severe back pain between the shoulder blades, pain in the right shoulder, extreme pain in the middle of your abdomen just beneath your breastbone or excruciating pain in the upper right abdomen, you may have one or more gallstones in your gallbladder. In some cases, the most appropriate solution is gallbladder surgery.
During this life-changing procedure, tiny incisions are made and tiny surgical tools are used to remove the gallbladder completely. In the case of severe gallstones, you may need robot-assisted gallbladder removal, but, regardless of the appropriate technique for your needs, there will be no need for an overnight hospital stay. To learn more about this life-changing procedure, please contact our experts now at Surgical Associates of South Florida, LLC in South Miami, FL.