When Do You Really Need Gallstone Surgery? Your Main Questions Answered

Most everyone has heard of gallstones, and most of us may even know someone who has undergone gallstone surgery. The good news is that gallstone surgery is a relatively common procedure with highly successful results. But if you have gallstones and are showing a few of the symptoms below, you may need to have gallstone surgery. So when do you really need gallstone surgery? Here, your main questions are answered.

What are gallstones?

First, it pays to know precisely what gallstones are. Gallstones are basically small stones which can form in person’s gallbladder or a person’s bile ducts (tubes which carry or transport bile to a person’s small intestine). Gallstones normally don’t cause any major symptoms, but if they begin blocking the opening to a person’s gallbladder, emergency surgery may need to be performed. When gallstones begin blocking the entry to the gallbladder, an individual may experience a sharp pain in the upper part of their abdomen on the right side. What’s important to note is that even if an individual gets through a first attack without surgery, there is a highly likely chance that a second attack will occur, and that’s why gallstone surgery is often recommended.

When do you need gallstone surgery?

As mentioned, you may need gallstone surgery if you suffer an attack because the gallstones have begun blocking the entryway to the gallbladder, resulting in severe pain. Another reason why you may need gallstone surgery is when the gallbladder abruptly becomes infected or inflamed (a condition referred to as cholecystitis).

Another reason for gallstone surgery is when gallstones repeatedly cause pain in a person’s abdomen. If the gallbladder is not removed, the person will just experience another attack which may increase in frequency until the problem is addressed.

Gallstone surgery may also be required if a person has polyps (growths) in the gallbladder which are larger than 1cm which are also causing certain symptoms. If your gallbladder is no longer functioning, gallstone surgery may also be recommended.

Gallstone surgery may be prescribed if the wall of the gallbladder has already calcified; this condition is called ‘porcelain gallbladder.’  People with an impaired or weak immune system who also have gallstones may need to have gallstone surgery as well.

One factor to remember is that gallstone surgery is a common procedure usually involving laparoscopy, where small cuts or incisions are made. The procedure is done in a few hours, and patients who undergo surgery in the morning can often be discharged on the same day, especially if the procedure is done by an experienced specialist on gallstone surgery, such as gallstone surgery in Surrey performed by Andrew Davies. Recovery is quick, and patients are usually comfortable and feeling at ease the day after the surgery is performed.

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