Gallstone Surgery

Gallstone Surgery

Risk factors for developing gallstones

  • Over 40 years old
  • Female
  • Family history
  • Obesity and rapid weight loss
  • Type 2 diabetes

Problems gallstones can cause

  • Biliary colic – intermittent upper abdominal pain.
  • Cholecystitis – constant pain localized to the right upper abdomen.
  • Choledocholithiasis – stones in the bile duct.
  • Cholangitis
  • Pancreatitis


  • Blood tests- liver function test’s, full blood count and electrolytes
  • Ultrasound

Other tests that may be needed for difficult to diagnose symptoms:

  • MRCP- Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography
  • CT IVC- Computed Tomography with intravenous cholangiogram
  • HIDA scan- Hepatic Iminodiacetic Acid Scan (for functional gall bladder disorders)

How laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed

  • This operation is performed under a general anaesthetic with four keyhole cuts being made in the upper abdomen.
  • The gall bladder is retracted up and away from the duodenum
  • A dissection is carried out defining the biliary anatomy and a cholangiogram performed- this involves taking a series of x-rays as dye is injected into the biliary system clips are then placed on the cystic duct and artery before they are divided.
  • The gall bladder is dissected off the liver, placed in a bag and extracted from the abdomen.
  • The abdominal wounds are then closed with dissolvable sutures and dressings applied.

Post-operative diet and recovery

  • All patients are commenced on a normal diet the same day of surgery.
  • Most patients can be medically cleared to go home the same day however it is entirely reasonable if a patient wishes to stay overnight in hospital.
  • For people who work in an office, one week off is usually all that is required.
  • Walking is encouraged from day one.

Book an appoinment

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