Gall bladder removal is one of the most frequent operations performed in the NHS, and it is now available for NHS patients at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre. Medical Director Mr Kenneth Hosie talks about the gall bladder, why it may need to be removed and what the procedure entails.
The gall bladder is a small, pear-shaped pouch located in your upper abdomen and which stores bile. Bile is produced by your liver and is used to break down fatty foods.
Bile is made up of cholesterol, bile salts and waste products. When these ‘ingredients’ get out of balance gallstones can be formed. In most instances you will not notice gallstones as they do not create any symptoms. However, sometimes they can become trapped, produce irritation and inflammation in the gall bladder or move out of the gall bladder to other parts of the body.
When this happens there can be a range of symptoms including extreme tummy ache, feeling and being sick, or jaundice.
For most people experiencing pain, it is recommended that the gall bladder is removed.
At Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre we do this using a technique called laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
This is the most common operation for the removal of the gall bladder and involves using a tiny camera and surgical instruments that are inserted through small incisions in your abdomen. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic.
You will be able to go home on the same day as your operation. It does not take long to recover from a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. You can return to normal activities after two weeks and it should be safe to do strenuous exercise after a month to six weeks.
If you would like to have your gall bladder removed at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, please discuss your choice with your GP who will be able to refer you for treatment.
You will be booked for an outpatient appointment within two weeks and, if all goes well, your operation will be scheduled within 18 weeks of your referral from your doctor, at a time to suit you and when we are running a list.
The procedure is run as a day case, which means you will go home on the day of treatment, and you will be invited back after six weeks for a post-operation check-up.