The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped sac which stores digestive fluid produced by the liver. The digestive juice, also called bile, helps in the breakdown of fatty substances present in food. Gallstones form when concentrations of the various bile components such as bile salts, cholesterol, water, lecithin, and bilirubin are imbalanced in the gallbladder. Surgical procedures for removing the gallbladder depend on the severity of complications caused by the gallstones.
Cholecystectomy is the removal of the gallbladder and can be performed by laparoscopic or open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery involves making 3 to 4 tiny incisions in the abdomen, insertion of a laparoscope (a tiny flexible tube with a lighted device and video camera at its end) and surgical instruments, followed by removal of the gallbladder. The recovery time with laparoscopic surgery is shorter than that of an open surgery.
The gallbladder is not an essential organ and therefore you can live a normal life even after the gallbladder is removed. Digestion of fats will be continued by the liver even after gallbladder removal. Your surgeon may recommend dietary changes if you experience side-effects such as indigestion, bloating, or diarrhea after the surgery. These may include: Gradually increasing your fiber intake, avoiding caffeinated or spicy food, and continuing to eat a healthy well-balanced diet.