Gallbladder removal surgery is also known as a cholecystectomy. This is a common procedure that treats the pain and nausea of gallstones and prevents complications from developing.
The gallbladder is a small organ that stores and collects bile to break down fatty foods and assist with digestion. It can become blocked and irritated by gallstones.
Specialist surgery can remove the gallbladder, resolve symptoms, and safeguard your health.
The London Clinic offers both a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and an open cholecystectomy by world-leading gastrointestinal surgeons.
The consultants operate in our state-of-the-art theatres using the very latest equipment.
Following your operation, the multi-disciplinary team will support your healthy recovery, monitor your digestive health, and offer expert dietetic guidance.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
Gallstones are pebble-like collections of cholesterol or other materials that form in the gallbladder.
They are a common problem, especially in:
- older people
- those who are overweight
- people who eat a high-fat diet.
Lots of people with gallstones have no symptoms or problems. However, they can cause pain in the upper right abdomen, especially after fatty meals.
Gallstones are linked to potentially serious complications, including:
- Biliary colic: If a stone gets stuck, it can block bile flow, causing sudden severe cramping abdominal pain.
- Cholecystitis: Gallstones can trigger inflammation in the gallbladder. This results in abdominal pain, yellow discolouration of the skin, dark urine and pale stools, and feeling feverish and unwell.
- Pancreatitis: Gallstones can get stuck in the narrow tube between the pancreas and the gallbladder, causing inflammation in the pancreas. This is a serious and painful complication that needs urgent, expert care.
If you’re worried about gallstones, see your GP or make an appointment with the gastroenterology specialists at The London Clinic. Surgery can reduce pain and protect you from dangerous complications.
When performed by experts, like the gastrointestinal surgeons at The London Clinic, a cholecystectomy is safe and straightforward.
People can live, digest food, and function well without a gallbladder.
The London Clinic offers two all-inclusive treatment packages for gallbladder removal surgery.
Your surgeon will take a detailed medical history, examine you, and order investigations to assess your gallbladder and your fitness for surgery. They will then recommend the best surgery for your needs. This could be:
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy
Most people can have minimally-invasive surgery to remove the gallbladder. Keyhole surgery offers a smaller scar, quicker discharge, and a faster recovery.
An open cholecystectomy
Open surgical removal of the gall bladder is the traditional treatment for gallbladder disease. The surgeon makes a single incision in the upper abdomen to remove the gallbladder.
This approach may be recommended if you’ve had multiple previous surgeries, if the gallbladder is inflamed, or if there are problems during the laparoscopy.
There are risks with any operation. The experienced surgeons and staff at the London Clinic work hard to minimize these and support your safe recovery.
Your consultant will discuss any problems associated with surgery and take time to answer your questions and address any concerns.
Your recovery from gallbladder removal surgery will depend on your operation and your general health.
Following a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you may feel some shoulder pain. The anaesthetist will give you painkillers to maintain your comfort. You will usually be able to go home on the same day.
However, it can take around two weeks to get back to work and normal activities. After one month, you can gradually reintroduce vigorous exercise.
Recovery following an open cholecystectomy is longer. After around three days, you can go home from hospital.
However, it can take six to eight weeks to regain strength and fitness.
The London Clinic team will provide support and guidance during your recovery. After surgery, many patients prefer small, light, lower-fat meals.
The London Clinic provides specialist dietetic advice and care to help optimise your digestive health and wellbeing.