Cholecystectomy is the surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder, a small organ that stores bile. Bile is a fluid produced in the liver and helps in breaking down of the fats in the digestive process. The removal of gallbladder becomes necessary for the treatment of symptomatic gallstones and other gallbladder conditions.
Gallstones are formed when the bile produced by the liver contains excess cholesterol more than that the bile can dissolve. This excess cholesterol along with other salts and the discarded red blood cells (bilirubin) crystallizes into gallstones.
In most cases gallstones remain silent in the bladder and you may not feel pain or other symptoms. However once they block the flow of bile into the bile duct, it may lead to a condition known as gallbladder attack. This can result in a medical emergency with severe upper abdominal pain, vomiting, gas blocking, obstructive jaundice and pancrealitis due to its complications.
Cholecystectomy is normally performed to overcome this condition. The removal of the gall bladder does not affect the normal life of a person though some dietary changes can be helpful.
Cholecystectomy can be performed using the open surgery or laparoscopy. Laparoscopic gall bladder removal is a common surgery that might require hospital stay for a day or two under normal conditions.
Though the occurrence of gallstones cannot be prevented, a lifestyle with a balanced diet usually helps to reduce the risk.