Gallstones are one of the most common abdominal problems in Australia. This is the most common reason to remove a gallbladder, especially if the stones are causing symptoms. Gallstones can cause severe pain and infections. Less commonly gallstones can cause life threatening inflammation of the pancreas or jaundice.

The only guaranteed way to prevent another attack of gallstone pain is to remove the gallbladder. Less commonly, the gallbladder will be removed for polyps or cancer. If you have gallstones with no symptoms, your surgeon will discuss the pros and cons of operation in that setting.

The operation

Most commonly, the gallbladder and stones are removed with laparoscopic or “Key-hole surgery.”

The operation involves the surgeon making four or more small (5-10mm) incisions on your abdomen. Carbon dioxide gas in then pumped into the abdominal cavity to give the surgeon a space to operate in. A fibreoptic telescope and long instruments are then inserted into the abdomen and the gallbladder is removed along with the stones.

A special X-ray called a cholangiogram is performed during the surgery to ensure no gallstones have escaped from the gallbladder into the bile duct.

The surgeon will secure the stump of the gallbladder and the gallbladder artery with titanium clips that will remain in your abdomen. These do not cause any harm and will not set the metal detectors off at the airport. They do not interfere with MRI.

    Additional information regarding your surgery including:

  • Causes / Problems
  • symptoms / Treatments
  • Alternatives
  • complications / risks
  • What to expect after surgery
  • pain relief, drain tubes, eating, activities
  • wound care / incision
  • length of stay in the hospital
  • after discharge

... and other important information about your surgery is currently being updated and will be put up onto this page very soon.

Please have a look around the rest of the website for additional information and contact my offices if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment.