Know if Gallbladder Surgery Is Right for You
It is time to consult a biliary specialist if you are experiencing persistent sharp pain on the right side of the abdomen (biliary colic), accompanied by fever. The yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) is another sign that surgery is essential.
Our general surgeons will order a series of tests to confirm if your gallstones are causing these symptoms. Other symptoms associated with gallstones are heartburn, bloating, and acid reflux. The purpose of the gallbladder removal surgery can be to address any of the following(1):
- Gallstone disease (cholelithiasis)
- Gallstones blockage in the bile duct or biliary tract (choledocholithiasis)
- Gallbladder disease or inflammation of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis)
- Gallstone-induced pancreas inflammation (gallstone pancreatitis)
Top Surgeons for Gallbladder Removal in Los Angeles
The standard practice of gallbladder surgery is using laparoscopic techniques to lower the risk of complications, compared to open gallbladder surgeries(2). The Khalili Center is home to cutting-edge laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures in Los Angeles.
Our board-certified general surgeons are experts in minimally-invasive and robotic-assisted surgery techniques. Furthermore, our surgeons make educated and informed decisions based on their extensive knowledge and experience.
Our founder, Dr. Theodore Khalili, MD, FACS., has performed countless advanced laparoscopic surgeries. Helping build the weight-loss surgery program in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Khalili is an innovator and educator in advanced laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques. Dr. Khalili also has an impressive cholecystectomies track record that provided patients with long-term success stories and recoveries.Watch the video
My name is Dr. Theodore Khalili, surgeon and founder of Weight Loss Surgery of Southern California. I founded the Center because I have dedicated my life-long professional work to patient care. My approach to patient-centric partnerships and service-oriented facilities offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to bariatric treatment – all in one place.
I believe that patient care does not end right after surgery – it’s only the beginning. I founded the Center to give patients access to a supportive community that guides them through each step of the weight loss journey. We work with a team of registered dieticians, psychologists and general doctors to create tailored, best-in-class care available.Read more
Our doctors may adjust preparational guidelines according to your needs. Our surgeons will provide all the information you need to prepare for the procedure.
Following these pre-surgery guidelines can lower the risk of complications:
- Preparation before surgery includes a medical evaluation, chest X-ray, and blood tests. Our surgeons may also ask you to get a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan to view your liver’s condition.
- Depending on your age and medical conditions, our surgeon may ask you to have an electrocardiogram (EKG) to test heart problems.
- After our surgeon evaluates the potential risks and outcomes, you will be asked to complete registration requirements, fill up the intake form, and sign a consent form.
- Before the operation, our surgeon will make sure that your colon is empty and the intestine is clean. You can take a laxative or drink only clear liquids days before the surgery.
- Twelve hours before surgery, do not not eat or drink anything with the exemption of medications prescribed by the surgeon. You can take the medication with a sip of water.
- Stop taking any pain medication, including aspirin, anti-inflammatory agents (ibuprofen), blood thinners, and vitamin E, several days before the surgery.
- Make arrangements at home and upon hospital discharge. You will need someone to help with your daily tasks after the operation.
- If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Although living without a gallbladder has little effect on your daily life if necessary dietary changes are made, a gallbladder removal surgery can still hugely impact your life. Patients suffering from gallstone conditions gain more from the procedure, despite losing a major organ. Doctors observed that patients’ quality of life has significantly improved after the operation(3).
The Khalili Center Aftercare Program
The Khalili Center’s comprehensive aftercare program is designed to help our patients recover in every aspect, whether medical, physical, or mental.
The program consists of follow-up appointments, monthly walks with the doctors, psychiatric counsel sessions, consultations with our nutritionist, community activities, and education seminars. The Khalili Foundation also organizes 5K walks and educational events to promote healthy living.
Nutrition Guidelines and Recovery
After gallbladder removal surgery, your ability to digest fats may be affected. Avoiding fatty foods may prevent indigestion. Maintaining a high fiber and low-fat diet is essential after the procedure(4). Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is minimally-invasive and requires shorter recovery time and less pain compared to open procedures. The small cuts on the abdomen are easier to clean and maintain compared to larger incisions.
After the gallbladder removal, you may be discharged on the same day or next day, depending on how you respond to liquids and diet. Temporary nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are not uncommon following a surgical procedure. Walking after the procedure is encouraged. However, activity is dependent on how much pain is experienced. Pain after the procedure is to be expected.
After one week, you may go back to your normal activities like work, driving, light lifting, and taking the stairs. If you have an administrative desk job, you may carry on with work after the first week. However, if you have a labor-intensive job, you may want to wait around two to three weeks before going back. The recovery period for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery also depends on how well patients respond to the surgery. Some patients have reported an average of two weeks before going back to work(5).
In some cases, patients who have had open cholecystectomy may require a longer hospital stay and may take around four to six weeks to recover.
Risks of a Gallbladder Surgery
Like any surgery, the gallbladder removal procedure may present some risks. The frequency of procedure complications varies from 0.5 to 6%(6).
The type of surgery you receive is dependent on the scar tissues in the abdomen. Gallbladder removal surgery is often done laparoscopically. However, it has been well-documented that 5% of laparoscopic surgeries are converted to open surgeries due to presence of scar tissues (adhesions)(7).
Possible complications of cholecystectomy may include any of the following(8):
- Bile leaking into the abdominal cavity
- Bleeding or ruptured blood vessels
- Blood clots
- Injury to nearby organs and tissues, such as the common bile duct, liver, and small intestine
- Risks of general anesthesia
Understanding Gallbladder Surgery
Gallbladder surgery is a major procedure that removes the gallbladder from the body due to conditions caused by gallstones.
Gallstones are made of cholesterol, bile and bilirubin. Usually, gallstones do not cause any symptoms. However, prolonged high cholesterol intake may cause irregularities in the flow of bile, causing blockage and inflammation.
Gallbladder removal surgery is currently the standard treatment to manage symptoms caused by gallstones(9).
How a Gallbladder Surgery Works
A gallbladder surgery is essential in relieving the patient from abdominal pain and inflammation. If you are experiencing symptoms of gallstones blockage, the surgical removal of the gallbladder can provide immediate relief.
The liver creates bile to aid digestion, while the gallbladder’s function is to store bile. The small organ acts as a bile gateway between the liver and the small intestine. The Khalili Center uses the laparoscopic cholecystectomy technique. This minimally-invasive procedure requires only small incisions on the abdomen.
A video camera (laparoscope) and surgical tools are inserted into the incision sites. Our general surgeon watches through the monitor as he or she performs the procedure.
The gallbladder is removed through an incision made in the belly button to prevent visible scarring. Because the absence of the gallbladder prevents any gallstone build up in the body, the bile from the liver flows directly to the small intestine.
Payment Options for a Gallbladder Surgery
Gallstone symptoms may significantly affect your quality of life, and we understand the urgency of your condition. To give you more options, we provide solutions for you to receive the procedure without the worry of a large sum payment.
We are in partnership with several insurance groups. We are also affiliated with Prosper Healthcare Lending, a patient financing program that helps individuals afford the treatments through alternative payment solutions.
You may inquire about the procedure cost through our customer care phone number or email address. Insurance phone numbers are also available upon request.
Book Your Consultation with Us
Our customer and medical care teams are on hand to assist with general inquiries, appointment requests, client feedback requests, and additional information.
You may click here to book your appointment. Please indicate the appointment reason and preferred visit type (virtual or personal). Your appointment will be saved in our loading calendar.
Our medical facility is available for virtual visits. You may also personally visit us at the Khalili Center located at 9033 Wilshire Blvd. #200 Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California 90211.
- The Mayo Clinic. Gallbladder Surgery Overview. Op cit.
- Lujan JA, Parrilla P, Robles R, Marin P, Torralba JA, Garcia-Ayllon J. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy vs Open Cholecystectomy in the Treatment of Acute Cholecystitis: A Prospective Study. Arch Surg. 1998;133(2):173–175. doi:10.1001/archsurg.133.2.173
- Carraro, A., Mazloum, D. E., & Bihl, F. (2011). Health-related quality of life outcomes after cholecystectomy. World journal of gastroenterology, 17(45), 4945–4951. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v17.i45.4945
- Shin, Y., Choi, D., Lee, K. G., Choi, H. S., & Park, Y. (2018). Association between dietary intake and post laparoscopic cholecystectomy symptoms in patients with gallbladder disease. The Korean journal of internal medicine, 33(4), 829–836. https://doi.org/10.3904/kjim.2016.223
- Tamhankar, A. P., Mazari, F., Olubaniyi, J., Everitt, N., & Ravi, K. (2010). Postoperative Symptoms, after-care, and return to routine activity after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. JSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, 14(4), 484–489. https://doi.org/10.4293/108680810X12924466007683
- Radunovic, M., Lazovic, R., Popovic, N., Magdelinic, M., Bulajic, M., Radunovic, L., Vukovic, M., & Radunovic, M. (2016). Complications of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: Our Experience from a Retrospective Analysis. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 4(4), 641–646. https://doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2016.128
- Sakpal, S. V., Bindra, S. S., & Chamberlain, R. S. (2010). Laparoscopic cholecystectomy conversion rates two decades later. JSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, 14(4), 476–483. https://doi.org/10.4293/108680810X12924466007926
- The Mayo Clinic. Gallbladder Surgery Overview. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cholecystectomy/about/pac-20384818
- Sherly Abraham, MD; Haidy G. Rivero, MD; Irina V. Erlikh, MD; Larry F. Griffith, MD; and Vasantha K. Kondamudi, MD, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, New York. Am Fam Physician. 2014 May 15;89(10):795-802.
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