Suite 4, Manera Plaza
77 Myall Street
Dubbo NSW 2830
Tel: 02 6884 5655

The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped sac found under the liver on the right hand side of the abdomen. It stores bile produced by the liver, which is then released into the bowel to aid digestion by breaking down fats. The most common disorder of the gallbladder is the formation of gallstones.

Biliary colic is the most common symptom of gallstones.  It is pain or discomfort, in the upper abdomen, usually bought on by food (especially rich food).  It lasts for minutes to hours, until the gallbladder relaxes.  Most patients who develop more severe complications of gallstones have had previous bouts of biliary colic

Gallstones do not go away on their own. Patients with gallstones and symptoms should have a cholecystectomy, before the development of severe complications.

The most common method of removal of the gallbladder is with laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.  A small cut is made under the umbilicus (belly button).  Through this is a camera is placed, and gas is instilled.  3 other small cuts are placed in the upper abdomen, through which instruments are introduced to dissect free the gallbladder.  If there is concern about the possibility of stones in the bile duct, an x-ray (cholangiogram) will be performed through the gallbladder (cystic duct).  The cystic duct and cystic artery are then clipped with permanent titanium clips.  These do not cause any long term problems.  The gallbladder is then removed from its attachment to the liver.  A drain (plastic tube) is sometimes left overnight to ensure that no fluid (blood or bile) collects in the abdomen. The decision to perform an open procedure is a judgment decision made by your surgeon either before or during the actual operation. When the surgeon feels that it is safest to convert the laparoscopic procedure to an open one, this is not a complication, but rather sound surgical judgment. The decision to convert to an open procedure is strictly based on patient safety.


• Gallbladder removal is a major abdominal operation and a certain amount of postoperative pain occurs. Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon

• Once liquids or a diet is tolerated, patients leave the hospital the same day or day following the laparoscopic gallbladder surgery

• Activity is dependent on how the patient feels. Walking is encouraged. 

• You will have small dressings over your wound sites. This may be removed after one week. You can still shower with these in place, once removed pat the areas dry gently.

• Most patients can return to work within 2 weeks?? following the laparoscopic procedure, depending on the nature of your job. Patients undergoing the open procedure usually resume normal activities in four to six weeks

• The onset of fever, yellow skin or eyes, worsening abdominal pain, distention, persistent nausea or vomiting, or drainage from the incision are indications that a complication may have occurred. Your surgeon should be contacted in these instances

If you have any questions please contact the practice: 02 6884 5655 or 02 6884 5666

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