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Shankar Ashokrao Bhagure
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Gallstones are actually hard deposits or lumps that are formed in gallbladder. Gallbladder is a pear shaped, sac-like structure that is located in the upper right part of the abdomen that stores bile. Many people have gallstones present in their bladder but they never know it. This can be an alarming situation for people who have it.
What Causes Gallstones?
There may be several reasons, including:
- Your genes
- Your weight
- Problems with your gallbladder
- Bile can be part of the problem. Your body needs bile, but if it has too much cholesterol in it, that makes gallstones more likely.
- It can also happen if your gallbladder can’t empty properly.
Who Is at Risk for Gallstones?
While your body produces cholesterol naturally, you can also take in excess cholesterol through your diet. Many risk factors for gallstones are related to diet. These include:
- being overweight or obese
- eating a diet that’s high in fat or cholesterol
- rapid weight loss within a short period of time
- eating diet that’s low in fiber
- having diabetes mellitus
What are the treatments available for this?
- Surgery: One of the famous treatments include surgeries. The famous surgery is Cholecystectomy (Removal of gallbladder) that further includes Laparoscopic surgery and Open cholecystectomy.
- Medications: The patients who cannot undergo surgeries can also use drugs like ursodiol and chenodiol . But this can take months or years to remove stones from bladder.
You can reduce your risk of gallstones if you:
- Don't skip meals. Try to stick to your usual mealtimes each day. Skipping meals or fasting can increase the risk of gallstones.
- Lose weight slowly. If you need to lose weight, go slow. Rapid weight loss can increase the risk of gallstones. Aim to lose 1 or 2 pounds (about 0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity and being overweight increase the risk of gallstones. Work to achieve a healthy weight by reducing the number of calories you eat and increasing the amount of physical activity you get. Once you achieve a healthy weight, work to maintain that weight by continuing your healthy diet and continuing to exercise. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
What is an Appendectomy?
An appendectomy (which is sometimes referred to ‘appendicectomy’) is the surgical elimination of the organ known as the appendix. Appendectomy is mostly performed as an emergency surgical procedure, when patients suffer from appendicitis.
How is Appendectomy Performed?
Appendectomy can be performed both as an open operation as well as laparoscopically. An appendectomy is most often performed laparoscopically, if the diagnosis is in doubt, or if the patients feel that they need to hide their telltale surgical scars near their umbilicus or in the pubic hair line.
However, although laparoscopic appendectomy has its cosmetic advantages, and its recovery time is a little quicker, this procedure is more expensive than conventional open surgery.
Conventional Open Appendectomy-
In the conventional open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision which is less than 3 inches in length in the lower right section of the abdomen. Once the infected appendix is identified, the surgeon separates the infected appendix from its surrounding tissues and removes it surgically from the cecum (an intraperitoneal pouch that forms the junction of the small and large intestine). After that, the cecum is closed and is returned back into the abdomen. In the end, the muscle layers and the skin are sewn together and the incision is closed.
Laparoscopic Appendectomy (LA)-
While performing appendectomy laparoscopically, which is also known as LA, four incisions of 1 inch in length are made in the abdomen. One incision is made near the umbilicus, while another one is made in an appropriate region between the umbilicus and the pubis. The other two incisions, which are even smaller in size, are made in the right side of the lower abdomen. The surgeon then passes the camera and special laparoscopy instruments through these openings and after identifying, frees the appendix from its surrounding tissues. Next, the appendix is removed from the cecum and the site of its former attachment is sewed. The infected appendix is removed from the body of the patient through any one of the two 1 inch incisions. In the end, the laparoscopic instruments are removed and the incisions are sutured and closed. During this whole procedure, the intraperitoneal space is filled with medical grade carbon dioxide gas, to inflate the abdomen, which is released after the surgery.
Recovery Time For Appendectomy-
The recovery time for appendectomy depends on and varies with the type of procedure and anesthesia used during the surgery. While laparoscopic appendectomy can be done on an outpatient basis so that the patients can recover back at home, an open surgical procedure will require an overnight or even longer hospital stay.
Normally patients after appendectomy can resume their normal daily activities within a few days. However, for full recovery, it may take four to six weeks. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities during this period of time.
Risk and Long Term Consequences of Removing the Appendix-
While wound infections are the most common complications of this surgery, formation of an abscess in the area of the surgical incision and also in the area close to the removed appendix has also been noticed as an aftermath of appendectomy.
Other rare complications may include lack of intestinal peristalsis (ileus), gangrene of the bowel, injuries to the internal organs and infections in the peritoneal cavity (peritonitis).
Major long-term consequences of appendectomy include increased risks of bowel obstruction, stump appendicitis (infection in the retained portion of the appendix still stuck with the cecum) and development of incisional hernia at the site of the scar.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Ever heard of that phrase “I can taste bile at the back of my mouth”? It is generally used to express disgust. However, in medical parlance, ‘bile’, the English synonym for disgust, plays an important role in the digestive system. It helps in the digestion of fats (breaks the fats down to smaller particles) and contains the waste products of the blood. Bile is secreted from the gallbladder which is a small organ (sac-shaped) present below the liver.
Gallbladder surgery is carried out to treat gallbladder related problems such as gallbladder stones. Presence of gallstones in the gallbladder can hamper bile production. The symptoms that you may experience include feeling unwell and fatigued, the color of the skin turning yellow and an intense tummy ache. The first method of treatment for gallstones is to dissolve them with the help of natural means. However, if this does not work, then gallbladder surgery is done.
A pre-surgery assessment is carried out by the doctor a few weeks prior to the surgery. A general health check and blood tests are carried out to determine the procedure of the surgery. Your concerns regarding the surgery are addressed by the doctor; he/she also advises you on how to prepare for your surgery.
Gallbladder surgery can be performed in two ways; an open surgery or a laparoscopic surgery. The type of surgery you will undergo will depend on your tests.
- Laparoscopic surgery: In this procedure, an incision is made on the belly button (naval region). Following this, two or three other incisions are made on the right side of the stomach. Carbon dioxide is then pumped into the stomach to make the abdomen inflated and a laparoscope is then inserted to see the insides of the abdomen. Through the other incisions, surgical instruments are inserted to remove the gallbladder. Once the removal procedure is completed, the carbon dioxide is pumped out and the incisions are closed.
- Open surgery: In an open surgery, a larger incision (as compared to laparoscopic surgery) is made in the abdomen, right below the ribs. The gallbladder is removed using surgical instruments and then the incision is closed.
- Post-surgery: In case of laparoscopic surgery, the recovery period is shorter; around two weeks. An open surgery, on the other hand, requires a longer recovery period of 6-8 weeks. You can live a normal life without the gallbladder, as the bile will then directly travel to the digestive system. Mild symptoms of diarrhea and bloating may be experienced. However, they should be temporary and subside within a few days. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!