Gall Bladder Surgery FAQs

Why does the gall bladder need to be removed for gallstones?

Gall bladders removed in patients who have gallstones show chronic inflammation indicating that they are not functioning anyway. Thus just removing the stones would leave the diseased gall bladder behind and lead to further gallstones.

Are there other treatments for gall stones?

Medications such as ursodeoxycolic acid prevent the occurrence of gallstones but are ineffective once stones are already formed.
Shock wave treatment can fragment small stones but the stones will recur as the gall bladder will reform stones.

What are the consequences of not having a gall bladder?

The gall bladder performs a very minor function in the process of digestion. The bile formed in the liver is stored in the gall bladder for a while before being released into the bowel to help with digestion. The gall bladder absorbs water and salt and concentrates the bile. However, there is no difference between dilute and concentrated bile. Some patients may experience diarrhea after cholecystectomy but this is uncommon.

Why should I have surgery for gall stones?

Gallstones which are causing symptoms are likely to lead to more problems. They can lead to infection of the gall bladder (cholecystitis) or slip into the main bile tube (common bile duct) and cause jaundice and pancreatitis.

 Do I need to be on a diet after surgery?

There are no dietary restrictions after a cholecystectomy

How long will I need off work?

Many people who do desk-based jobs can return to work in 2-3 days if they can travel to work safely using local transportation. Patients should refrain from driving for at least a week after surgery. Time off work maybe longer with open surgery as compared to laparoscopic surgery

When can I start exercising after surgery?

You can resume light exercises such as walking, light running and swimming around a week after surgery. You can start cycling around 2 weeks after surgery. You should refrain from weight training for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Return to regular activities including exercise maybe longer after open surgery as compared to laparoscopic surgery.


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