The Top Signs and Symptoms You Should Look Out for If You Have Gallstones


The gallbladder is a small organ, but we hardly think about it unless we have gallstones and the pain associated with it. Gallstones are generally not symptomatic, especially if they are small, but if you are experiencing pain and have other symptoms, it may be time to undergo gallbladder surgery. But what are the signs and symptoms you should look out for if you have gallstones? How do you know if you need to have your gallbladder removed? Here’s your guide to the top signs and symptoms you should watch out for if you have gallstones.

The Top Signs and Symptoms

If you have been told you have gallstones, then you may have had them for a while, and they may have already increased in size over time. More often than not, you will experience pain, especially since the gallstones can block the bile flow to the gallbladder and lead to irritation of the gallbladder as well. Other issues may include indigestion, especially when accompanied by heartburn, gas, and bloating, and another issue is a sharp and stabbing pain in the belly, which can last for several hours. Another sign you may need gallbladder surgery is if you have vomiting and nausea and if you have a high temperature. The yellowing of the eyes, as well as the skin, may signify jaundice, which is another potential issue with gallstones that require an operation.

The good news is, we don’t need our gallbladders in order to live, and if it is already causing the above problems, your doctor will more than likely recommend gallbladder surgery to remove the organ, as confirmed by the gallbladder surgery London specialists from The London Surgical Group.

How It Can Be Removed

The procedure for removing the gallbladder can either be through laparoscopy or open surgery. Both of these procedures are done under general anaesthesia, where you will be asleep and free from pain while the operation is ongoing. Your gallstone surgery specialist such as the gallstone surgery London experts from The London Surgical Group should be able to recommend the best kind of procedure based on your health and other factors.

Keyhole or Laparoscopic Surgery

The most common process of removing the gallbladder is through keyhole or laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon will make a few small cuts in the abdomen, then insert the laparoscope (a thin tube equipped with a light to see inside the abdomen) through one cut. Other instruments, such as a small camera, will also be inserted into the other incisions. The gallbladder can then be removed with these instruments, and the surgeon will close the cuts using stitches, surgical tape, glue, or staples. These will then disappear once you heal so your surgeon doesn’t have to remove them. Keyhole or laparoscopic surgery allows for a faster healing period since the cuts are smaller.

Open Surgery

In certain cases, open surgery may be ideal for gallbladder removal, such as when someone has serious issues with their gallbladder or scar tissue from an earlier operation. Open surgery involves a larger cut on the belly to physically access and then remove the gallbladder. The cut will then be sealed and closed using stitches and covered with a dressing. The healing time for open surgery is longer than laparoscopy, although it should also be able to address your problem once and for all.

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