The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located just under the liver, in the right upper part of the abdomen. Its major function is to store bile produced by the liver. It secretes this bile into the small intestine, which helps in the digestion of the fatty foods.
The surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder is called cholecystectomy. It is sometimes done to relieve patients of symptoms associated with gallstones or certain conditions affecting the gallbladder.
There are two main types of cholecystectomy, laparoscopic cholecystectomy and open cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is done using a laparoscope by making small incisions in the abdomen, whereas an open surgery is done by making one large incision.
After the surgery, since the gallbladder has been removed, bile flows directly from the liver through the common bile duct into the small intestine. Hence, the removal of gallbladder usually does not have a significant effect on digestion.
Patient recovers much faster after a laparoscopic surgery than after an open surgery. Patients who have undergone a laparoscopic surgery take around 2 weeks to proceed with their normal routine activities. On the other hand, those with an open surgery takes atleast four to six weeks to get back to their routine.
Both open and laparoscopic surgeries of the gallbladder are considered to be relatively safe procedures. However, the overall risk associated with a laparoscopic surgery is much less as compared to an open surgery.
The most common side effects reported following gallbladder surgery are gas problems, indigestion, abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea after eating fatty and spicy food.
Diet plays an important role before and after gall bladder surgery. A low fat diet is recommended for several weeks before the surgery as well as after the surgery.