A type of Cholecystectomy

Laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder. Usually four small incisions are made in the abdomen (one of which is in the belly button), and a laparoscope and surgical intruments can be inserted. The gallbladder is detached and removed through the belly button. Often, the bile duct is examined during the procedure to make sure there are no gallstones present there (choledocolithiasis).

This surgery is now commonly done on an outpatient basis, the patient remaining in the hospital until they can walk, eat/drink, and pee on their own.

Risks and Complications

This is the most common treatment for cholecystitis and cholelithiasis.

this surgery, in the grand arena of surgeries, isn't much to worry about. but it hurt a hell of a lot more than i expected. i woke up and i couldn't see -- a residual effect of the anesthesia. after the confusion of blindness was gone and i could see fuzzy shapes, i began to notice the intense pain in my abdomen. i was sure that something had gone wrong and the operation had been converted to an open cholecystectomy. but alas, no. the operation was just much more painful than i had expected it to be. i was given several shots of morphine into my IV line, none of which offered any relief. i was finally given a shot of demerol to the ass which did the trick quite nicely. my abdomen was full of carbon dioxide they use to expand the area in which they need to operate. the gas (although they try to get much of it out during the procedure) rose through my chest and settled into my neck, which became almost as painful as my tummy.

but the worst part of it was the feeling in my belly button. they actually pull the gallbladder out through an incision in the belly button. the only way i can explain the feeling in my belly button is this (and forgive the crudeness): sometimes, when you have a firm, large bowel movement, afterwards you may feel as though your rectum may never get back to normal. my belly button felt stretched and distended in the same way. it didn't quite hurt, but it just felt wrong.

i had few complications from the surgery. the next day my throat was raw and i could barely speak, but this was gone the next morning. this was due to the airway tube placed in my windpipe (i don't quite understand why it started to hurt the next day). i was in bed for several days -- my abdomen hurt. painkillers are really a must, and aspirin (even with codeine) wouldn't cut the mustard. it was oral demerol for me.

i was told not to remove the bandages from the incisions -- to leave them alone until they fell off on their own. unfortunately, despite my best attempts at keeping the area clean, the sticky bandages would curl up at the edges and collect dirt and lint, and two of the four incisions became infected. the incision in my belly button became particularly painful, as it was right where the elastic waistband of my underpants would sit.

after a week, i was right as rain, though still tender in that area.

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