Medical science has improved significantly in recent years, and many patients are unaware of the latest surgical techniques used to treat minor conditions. For some, new methods are intimidating, especially when they know so little. Fortunately, there is a lot of information available to help invite confidence. One example of a common surgical procedure used today is laparoscopy. Before laparoscopy was developed, certain minor conditions required open surgery.
What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy pertains to a less-invasive surgical procedure used to treat a variety of conditions. One common example is gallbladder removal. In a laparoscopic gallstone surgery London surgical practitioners perform, they use specialised tools to make small incisions in order to remove the gallbladder.
Why is laparoscopic gallbladder removal necessary?
The gallbladder is a small organ that stores bile produced by the liver. Bile helps in digesting and breaking down fat from the food we eat. Unfortunately, many people develop a condition known as cholelithiasis. When you have this condition, gallstones will form inside your gallbladder and cause inflammation, pain, and other complications. A gallbladder surgery London clinic may also recommend laparoscopy for the following reasons:
- Gallstones moving to the common bile duct and causing a blockage
- Inflamed gallbladder
- Inflamed pancreas as a complication of gallstones
- Defect in the gallbladder where bile doesn’t empty properly
When removing gallstones London surgeons prefer laparoscopy over open surgery because it is less invasive. With smaller cuts, the patient’s risk of infection is also minimised. Moreover, recovery time is shorter, and there is less likelihood of excessive bleeding.
Are there any risks to laparoscopic gallbladder removal?
Your gallbladder surgeon London practitioner will recommend laparoscopy because it is generally safe. There is only a minimal rate of complications occurring from this procedure. However, every patient is different. Before performing laparoscopy, your surgeon will conduct a thorough examination to ensure that these risks are avoided. Some of the possible complications which may arise from this procedure are:
- Allergic reaction to anaesthesia
- Damaged blood vessels
- Bile duct or liver injury during the process
- Blood clot
- Heart problems
Understanding these risks is essential so that every patient knows what to expect before and after the procedure. If a patient is considered high-risk for any of these complications, the surgeon may recommend an alternative procedure, such as open surgery.
Preparing to undergo laparoscopic gallbladder removal
Before undergoing laparoscopy, your gallstone surgeon London practitioner will ensure that you are fully prepared for the procedure. The tests conducted include:
- Imaging such as MRI or CT scan
- Blood test
- A thorough review of the patient’s medical history
- Physical examination
It is also essential to inform the doctor if you are taking any medication, whether over the counter drugs or supplements. You also need to pay attention to the instructions given by your doctor, especially those related to after-surgery care. For example, do you have someone at home who will take care of you? How will you arrange your transport back home? The doctor may also make a few reminders about how you can adequately care for the small incisions to avoid infection.