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When to have surgery for an inflamed gallbladder

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If your gallbladder is inflamed, you will probably stay in hospital for a while.

While you are there:

These things should make you feel better.

Then your doctor may give you a choice between two ways of treating your gallstones:

  • Have your gallbladder taken out soon, usually within three days of coming to hospital. This is called an early operation.

  • Go home and plan to have your gallbladder taken out about six weeks to eight weeks later. This is called a delayed operation.

Here are some things to think about if you are given this choice. For these things, it doesn't matter what kind of operation you are going to have ( keyhole surgery, open surgery, or mini-keyhole surgery).

  • If you have your operation early, you are likely to go home from hospital sooner and you may need fewer painkillers. [37] [38] [39] [40] [41]

  • The chances that you will have problems during surgery are the same, whether you have an early or a delayed operation. [37] [38] [40] [41] [42] [43]

  • Your gallbladder might flare up or get infected while you wait for a delayed operation.

  • Between 1 in 5 and 1 in 8 people who decide to wait need to have an operation before they planned it. This is because their pain comes back, or they get problems like an infection. [37] [39]

  • Your symptoms might go away completely while you are waiting for the operation. Then you may not need surgery. This happens to 1 in 10 people. [42]

Glossary

antibiotics

These medicines are used to help your immune system fight infection. There are a number of different types of antibiotics that work in different ways to get rid of bacteria, parasites, and other infectious agents. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.

infection

You get an infection when bacteria, a fungus, or a virus get into a part of your body where it shouldn't be. For example, an infection in your nose and airways causes the common cold. An infection in your skin can cause rashes such as athlete's foot. The organisms that cause infections are so tiny that you can't see them without a microscope.

For more terms related to Gallstones

Citations

For references related to Gallstones click here.
Last Updated: November 23, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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