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Gallbladder Removal - Diagnosis & Treatment

Gallbladder removal, also known as cholecystectomy, is a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder, a small organ that stores bile. Bile aids digestion by breaking down fats.

from £270

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You are not required to provide a referral letter from your doctor or GP.

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How to Prepare for Gallbladder Surgery

Preparing for gallbladder removal surgery does not have to be complicated. Here is a simple rundown to get you ready:

1. Doctor's Visit

First, schedule a consultation with one of our London doctors. They will go over your medical history, the medications you're currently on, and any allergies you might have. They will also discuss with you the details of the surgery, possible complications and what to expect.

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2. Tests

Your doctor might ask you to undergo some tests, like blood tests or imaging scans. These help ensure you are in good shape for the surgery and give the surgeon a better look at your gallbladder before planning your operation.

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3. Medication Guidelines

If you are on medication, your doctor will tell you if you need to stop taking it before the surgery. They will give you clear instructions on which medications to take and which to avoid.

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4. Fasting

The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and you will therefore need to fast, meaning no eating or drinking for a specific number of hours before the surgery. This is standard practice to avoid any complications during the procedure.

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5. What to Bring

Pack a small bag with essentials like your ID and personal items in case you need to stay overnight.

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6. Transportation

Arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home post-surgery. You’ll be groggy from the anaesthesia, so driving yourself is not a safe option.

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7. Relax

It's natural to feel nervous but try to relax. You’re in good hands, and this surgery is a common, safe procedure to get you back to a pain-free life.

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What to Expect From Gallbladder Surgery

During the Surgery

Arrival

When you arrive at the hospital, the staff will guide you through the admission process. You will change into a hospital gown and get settled in.


The medical team will then prepare you for surgery. The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic so you will be asleep throughout and will not feel a thing.


The Procedure

Depending on each individual case, the surgeon might make one large incision or a few small ones to remove the gallbladder. The procedure last one to two hours.


Once the procedure is finished you will be transferred to the recovery room. You might feel sleepy and disorientated due to the anaesthesia but this will soon settle.

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After the Surgery

Recovery Room

You will spend some time in the recovery room while the team monitors your vital signs. They will make sure you are well and that the anaesthesia is wearing off properly.


You might feel some pain or discomfort, but don’t worry—the team has got you covered with pain relief.


Going Home

If you had a laparoscopic procedure, there is a good chance you will be heading home the same day. For an open surgery, expect a short hospital stay.


Once you are home, take it easy. Rest up, follow your doctor's advice on diet and activities, and focus on getting better.

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Follow-Up

You will have a follow-up appointment to check on your recovery, remove stitches if needed, and address any concerns.


Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how you feel. Healing takes time, so go easy on yourself and reach out to your doctor if you have any worries or questions.


Remember, every person’s experience is a bit different. So, it’s always best to rely on your doctor’s advice tailored to your specific situation.

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Start Your Consultation

From Home or Face to Face, all at your convenience 

Schedule a Video Consultation or a Face-to-Face appointment at your convenience by using our online booking system.

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Schedule a Video Consultation or a Face-to-Face appointment at your convenience by using our online booking system.

Your dedicated Specialist Doctor will provide you with personalized treatment, tailoring it to your specific needs, and may include necessary medication.

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Alternatives to Cholecystectomy

If gallstones are giving you trouble, gallbladder surgery is a common solution. But it is not the only one. There are other ways to manage and treat gallstones too.


Changing What You Eat

One simple step is watching what you eat. If certain foods trigger your gallstone pain, try to avoid them. Stick to a diet that is low in fat to keep the pain at bay. It can make a big difference.


ERCP

If gallstones have made their way into your bile duct, ERCP might be required. It is a special procedure that combines the use of an endoscope and X-rays to identify and extract the gallstones from your bile duct, not the gallbladder though. Your doctor guides a flexible tube through the mouth and stomach, all the way to the bile duct opening in the gut where with special instruments they may be extracted.

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If gallstones are giving you trouble, gallbladder surgery is a common solution. But it is not the only one. There are other ways to manage and treat gallstones too.


Changing What You Eat

One simple step is watching what you eat. If certain foods trigger your gallstone pain, try to avoid them. Stick to a diet that is low in fat to keep the pain at bay. It can make a big difference.


ERCP

If gallstones have made their way into your bile duct, ERCP might be required. It is a special procedure that combines the use of an endoscope and X-rays to identify and extract the gallstones from your bile duct, not the gallbladder though. Your doctor guides a flexible tube through the mouth and stomach, all the way to the bile duct opening in the gut where with special instruments they may be extracted.

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Considering Future Steps

Even after these procedures, keep in mind that your gallbladder might still need to come out. Why? Because it might be housing more gallstones. 


Remember, each patient is unique and so are their needs. Always chat with one of our doctors to figure out the best approach for you. We are here to guide you through, step-by-step, making sure you get the care that fits just right.

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