Gallstones

What are Gallstones?

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ present below the liver. It collects bile from the liver, and concentrates and transports it to the small intestine for the digestion of fats.

An imbalance in the contents of bile can lead to the formation of a gallstone or many gallstones. There can be two types of gallstones:

Cholesterol stones: Most common type, caused by excess cholesterol in bile

Pigment stones: Smaller stones composed of excess bilirubin, a pigment found in bile

What are the treatment options?

Surgery is the standard treatment option for gallstones and may include:

Open surgery: A large incision is made on your abdomen and the gallbladder is removed along with the stone.

Key-hole surgery: Three to four small incisions are made on your abdomen and the gallbladder is removed along with the stone.

How soon can you get back to normal?

Following laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you will stay in the hospital for one night and can return to normal activities in 7-10 days. If a larger incision is needed to remove the gallbladder, you will be required to stay for 4-5 days and can resume normal activities in 3-4weeks.

Consult your surgeon on when you can start driving. Do not lift heavy objects in the first 2 weeks after surgery.

Visit your doctor immediately if you experience diarrhoea, fever, elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, swelling and pain in the legs, drainage of the wound or sudden stomach pain.

What do I do next?

Following discharge, you may need additional support from family or friends to help in the immediate post-operative period. For some patients, a period of rehabilitation may be required before discharge home.

Should you experience difficulties please contact us.

  • Royal Austrailan College of Surgeons
  • IHPBA
  • Australian Medical Association
  • Knox Private Hospital
  • General Surgeons Australia
  • The Valley Private Hospital