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Gallbladder Surgery Aftercare: How to Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery

The gallbladder is an organ that is pear-shaped and located beneath the liver. The main function of the gallbladder is to store the bile produced in the liver. Bile is a digestive enzyme that is responsible for the digestion of fats.

A gallstone is a hardened mass formed inside the gallbladder resulting from the accumulation of excess cholesterol, bile pigments, salts, or a combination of these. The condition is known as cholelithiasis. Gallstones are one of the most common conditions affecting the liver and the biliary system. The size of a gallstone may be as small as a grain of sand to about the size of a small golf ball.

Gastro and liver clinic provides the best gallstone treatment in Delhi. You will be prescribed dietary modifications or surgeries that may need to be performed based on your individual health condition. Following the right gallbladder surgery aftercare will ensure that you stay well

Starting from how to sleep after gallbladder surgery to what to eat, follow all postoperative instructions.  All of these make a difference in how fast and well you recover

Types of gallstones

1.Cholesterol stones:-

These stones are formed out of hardened excess cholesterol that deposits in the form of calculi inside the gallbladder.

  1. These stones are 80% cholesterol in terms of their weight.
  2. These stones vary from light yellow to dark green or brown.
  3. The size of these oval stones varies from 2 to 3.2 cm in length
  4. The structure of these stones shows a dark spot in the center

2.Pigment stones:-

  1. These stones are formed out of bilirubin
  2. When the bile is supersaturated with bilirubin, it accumulates and hardens to form stones.
  3. These stones are common in patients with liver cirrhosis, infections of the biliary system, and hereditary blood disorders
  4. Pigment stones comprise about 20% of cholesterol
  5. They are primarily composed of bilirubin and salts apart from cholesterol
  6. They are small and dark stones found in the bile

3. Mixed gallstones:-

  1. These are a mixture of both cholesterol and pigment stones
  2. They have a sticky appearance similar to mud
  3. They are composed of about 70% cholesterol and other constituents such as calcium carbonate, calcium palmitate, etc are also found.

Gallbladder stones causes

The causes for the occurrence of gallstones may include:

  1. Increased levels of cholesterol in the blood – Almost 85% of gallstones are formed due to high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is formed in the liver and bile is an enzyme that is necessary to digest it. When the amount of cholesterol exceeds the normal limit, the bile present is unable to dissolve the extra cholesterol. It accumulates inside the gallbladder, forming gallstones.
  2. Abnormally high bilirubin levels in the bile- Bilirubin is a pigment present in the bile. The level of bilirubin may rise due to existing liver diseases or some blood disorders that cause excessive breakdown of RBC. Under these conditions, the bilirubin solidifies and form stones in the gallbladder
  3. People with pre-existing liver disease – Liver diseases such as cirrhosis (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), fibrosis of the liver, etc may cause cholelithiasis.
  4. Blood disorders altering the levels of bilirubin- Certain blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia, etc contribute to high levels of bilirubin which then hardens to form stones inside the gallbladder
  5. When the bile is not emptied properly to carry out its function, the superfluous bile accumulates in a pathologic form as gallstones.

The best gallbladder surgery in Gurgaon is available at Gastro and liver clinic with Dr. Piyush Ranjan.

Symptoms of gallbladder stones

  1. Pain in the upper abdomen
  2. Pain under the ribs
  3. Vomiting and nausea
  4. A stomach upset
  5. Indigestion
  6. Heartburn
  7. Gas and bloating
  8. Fever or chills
  9. Dark yellowish discoloration of the eyes
  10. Very light-colored and pale stools

Dr. Piyush Ranjan is one of the most renowned gastroenterologists offering the best gallstone treatment in Delhi

Who is at risk for gallstones?

Certain predisposing factors increase a person’s chances of getting gallstones. They are:

  1. Obesity – Increased body weight is a predisposing factor. Research indicates that persons with a BMI of over 20kg/m² are at a higher risk of having gallstones. Most often, obesity is linked to a faulty diet and an inactive lifestyle. These two factors are a dangerous combination that increases the levels of cholesterol in the blood and cause gallstone formation
  2. Gender- Women have a higher probability of cholelithiasis. The hormonal factor is responsible for this gender disposition. This tendency is elevated during the reproductive age and influenced by female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that causes a high saturation of cholesterol in the bile and makes the system susceptible to gallstones
  3. Ethnicity – Certain races have a high predominance of gallstones. Among Indians, the population in North India seems to have a higher inclination towards gallstones. On the whole, about 5% of the population is diagnosed with cholelithiasis.
  4. Those with a family history of gallstones – About 25% of the people having gallstones have a strong positive family history. Gallstone disease does run in the family.
  5. Age– Advancing age increases the chances of having gallstones. Slower metabolism, higher risk of diabetes may contribute to cholelithiasis.
  6. People consuming a diet high in cholesterol and fat, but low in fiber – A poorly nutritious diet plays a major role by increasing the accumulation of fats such as cholesterol
  7. Leading a relatively sedentary lifestyle slows down the metabolism along with increased levels of cholesterol in the blood
  8. Women taking birth control pills or those under hormone replacement therapy are at a higher risk – Due to the tilted hormone balance, the BMI increases and causes oversaturation of substances responsible for gallstone formation
  9. Pregnancy increases your chances of having gallstones – the hormones play a major role
  10. Having diabetes increases the susceptibility of having gallstones
  11. Intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease multiplies the probability of gallstones
  12. If you have lost a lot of weight within a short period– During an extreme rapid weight loss, the body mobilizes fat and this causes the liver to secrete extra cholesterol causing gallstones.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Piyush Ranjan to get the best gallstone treatment in Delhi

What are the complications caused by gallstones?

Gallstones or cholelithiasis can have various complications. Although not very common, gallstones can cause complications. They include

1.Acute cholecystitis

  • This is an acute inflammation of the gallbladder
  • When the bile duct becomes blocked, bile accumulates inside the gallbladder
  • This causes the gallbladder to become infected and inflamed
  • About 1 in 8 people have the chance of developing complications
  • Jaundice is also common in people with cholecystitis
  • Symptoms include sharp pain in the abdomen
  • The pain radiates towards the scapula or shoulder blade
  • Fever with a  gradual rise in temperature to above 100.4 ° F
  • You may also experience a fast heartbeat
  • Usually, acute cholecystitis may cause an empyema or an abscess of the gallbladder  that   may require surgical intervention
  • Sometimes, the internal lining of the gallbladder may also get inflamed which is known as peritonitis
  • Peritonitis may require surgical removal of the lining of the abdomen

2.  Jaundice

  • Jaundice is a fairly common complication of gallstones
  •  When gallstones pass from the gallbladder into the biliary duct, it causes a blockage in the flow of bile and causes jaundice
  •  The symptoms of jaundice include yellowish color in the eyes and skin, dark-tinted urine, pale stools, and itching of the skin
  •  The gallstone may sometimes pass away on its own if it doesn’t then it may need to be removed

3. Acute cholangitis

  • This is an infection and inflammation of the bile ducts.
  • Due to a blockage in the bile duct, it becomes susceptible to inflammation
  • The symptoms of cholangitis include a sharp abdominal pain traveling to the shoulder, jaundice, fever, confusion, chills, itchy skin, etc
  • A general feeling of ill health

The treatment usually includes antibiotics to treat the infection as well as a procedure called ERCP ( Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) that drains the bile and empties the duct of blockage.

4. Cancer of the gallbladder

  • This is a rare but possible complication of gallstones
  • The chances of having cancer of the gallbladder increases when there is a history of gallstones
  • When there are other risk factors involved, it may be a good choice to remove the gallbladder as a preventive treatment of choice
  • A sharp abdominal pain, high fever, and jaundice are the symptoms of gallbladder cancer

The classical triad of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy is usually the chosen treatment in this case.

5. Acute pancreatitis

  • This is an inflammation of the pancreas, occurring due to cholelithiasis.
  • When a migrating gallstone blocks the pancreatic duct, the region gets inflamed and infected.
  • Symptoms include a dull pain in the upper abdomen that worsens with time
  • The forward curling position offers relief from pain
  • Symptoms are a sick feeling in the stomach, loss of appetite, diarrhea, etc

Management includes intravenous fluid for nutrition, pain relief, and drug administration.

6. Gallstone ileus

  • Ileus is a condition where the bowel is obstructed by a gallstone
  • This happens when an abnormal passage opens up and the gallstone passes through to the bowel
  • Gallstone ileus is a relatively rare but potentially serious complication
  • Symptoms include pain, abdominal swelling, and constipation
  • Urgent medical attention is required to prevent rupture of the bowel, internal hemorrhage, and extended internal infection

The best gallstone treatment in Delhi is available at the Gastro and liver clinic headed by Dr. Piyush Ranjan

How are gallstones diagnosed?

The diagnosis of gallstones is done through

  1. An ultrasound scan – This investigation uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the area which are embedded on a film to be examined. After applying a gel, the handheld transducer is applied to the upper abdomen to make sound waves reach the examined area and generate images.
  2. MRI- Magnetic Resonance Tomography– When an ultrasound fails to detect the presence of gallstones in positions such as the bile duct, an MRI does the job. MRI uses radio waves along with a strong magnetic field to capture images across various planes
  3. CT scan– Computerized tomography is used to detect complications such as acute cholangitis or pancreatitis. A CT is usually suggested in case of severe abdominal pain to pinpoint the diagnosis
  4. Cholangiography– This is the process of injecting a dye into the bile duct or the bloodstream and tracking if it travels along its normal routes – such as the liver, bile ducts, intestines, and the gallbladder. Endoscopic cholangiography is available and the block can be removed using the same procedure in the same session.

Receive the best gallstone treatment in Delhi from Dr. Piyush Ranjan – the best in his field.

What are the treatment options for gallstones?

The treatment options for gallstones include

  1. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy- This is the surgical removal of the gallbladder through the laparoscopic route using minimally invasive surgery. The size of the incisions ranges from 1 cm to 3 cm. An X-ray or an ultrasound is taken during the surgery to make sure any gallstones present are also removed. The surgery takes about 90 minutes on average, and you will be able to go home after observation on the next day. Following the surgery, you will need to follow gallbladder surgery aftercare instructions to be able to get back to your routine sooner.
  2. Open cholecystectomy- Under some special conditions such as pregnancy, or an extremely obese patient an open surgery may also be recommended. The incision is about 10 to 15 cm long and involves a longer hospital stay and recovery. How to sleep after gallbladder surgery is important to avoid discomfort over the sutures.
  3. ERCP- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography- This is an endoscopic procedure that removes the gallstones, but the gallbladder is left in position. Sometimes, it may be combined with keyhole surgery. This procedure is done under anesthesia and takes about an hour.
  4. Diet and medication- Sometimes, diet and medications to dissolve the stones may also be prescribed. This will require regular monitoring from time to time and necessary medical attention will be required if they persist or recur.

Gallbladder surgery aftercare is important for a better surgical outcome and prevents complications.

  • Diet plays an important role in postoperative care
  • Start with a liquid diet such as soups, juices, etc
  • Increase the frequency of your meals and reduce the portion size
  • Gallbladder surgery aftercare also means that you need to avoid fatty foods such as fried, cheesy options
  • Avoiding spicy foods decreases the chances of irritating the sensitive internal organs especially after the surgery
  • Another part of gallbladder surgery aftercare is including a healthy diet comprising of green vegetables, boiled and steamed foods, avoiding red meat, pastries etc
  • How to sleep after gallbladder surgery is a question on a lot of people’s minds. It is better to lie on your back or on your left side. This is to avoid putting pressure on the incisions over the right side.

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