What is it?
- The removal of your gall bladder, which is found underneath your liver
What is the gall bladder for?
- The gall bladder is used to store bile, which is excreted when you eat to help you digest the fat in your food
Can I live without my gallbladder?
- Yes, absolutely. You may need to eat a low fat diet initially, but your body will adapt to not having a gall bladder.
Why might it need to be removed?
- The main reason is pain if you develop gall stones in your gall bladder
- If you have pancreatitis
- If you become jaundiced (yellow)
How do I know there is a problem?
- You can experience severe pain after eating, which lasts for up to a few hours.
- Your pain is worse when you eat fatty foods
- You can also experience pain that radiates into your back
- You become jaundiced or your liver function tests are abnormal
How do you diagnose a problem with my gall bladder?
- Normally you would have a simple ultrasound of your liver, and this may show that there are stones in your gall bladder
- You may undergo more advanced tests such as an MRCP to look at all your bile ducts in more detail
Does everyone with gall stones need to have their gall bladder removed?
- No - many people can have gallstones, but no pain or symptoms. It is not necessary to have your gall bladder removed in this circumstance.
What are the risks?
- There is a small, but serious risk (less than 0.7%) of an injury to your bile duct during surgery
- Bloating - initially after surgery and worse when eating fatty foods
- Wound infection (less risk with SILS - as only 1 wound!)