Contact Us

Phone

1300 727 287

 

Fax

02 9241 2159

 

Email

reception@drgirardi.com.au

 

Address

Sydney Medical Specialists

BMA House

Suite 101, Level 1

135 Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

 

Online Enquiry

Please call me back
* Required fields

Gallstones

Gallstones are one of the most common abdominal problems in Australia. This is the main indication to remove a gallbladder, especially if the stones are causing symptoms. Gallstones can cause severe pain and infections. Less commonly gallstones can cause jaundice or even life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.  

The only guaranteed method of preventing further attack of gallstone pain is to remove the gallbladder.

Less commonly, the gallbladder will be removed for polyps or cancer

Laparoscopic Cholecystecomy

(Gallbladder Surgery)

Of all laparoscopic surgical procedures, cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) is the most well recognised and widely practiced of all general surgical procedures performed in australia.  Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is also the most effective and accepted method of managing symptomatic gallstone disease (gallstones causing pain and infection).  Dr Girardi has routinely performed laparoscopic cholecystectomy with a standard 4-port technique using 5mm incisions and has performed well over 1000 of these procedures.  The main benefit of this minimally invasive procedure, as mentioned is less pain, faster recovery and better view of the anatomical structures which join the gallbladder to the liver and gut. The technique therefore minimises damage to those important structures and avoids complications. There is relatively little pain compared to traditional abdominal surgery.  As a result, the recovery time is much quicker.

 

Armed with an extensive experience in laparoscopic surgery, Dr Girardi is pleased to be able to offer his patients his exceptional expertise.

 

 

Risks & Complications

Whilst laparoscopic surgery is considered a safe, low risk operation, like all surgical procedures there are a few complications that may occur.  It must be stressed these complications are rare and Dr Girardi has a proven track record of a very low rate of complications.  Almost all of the quoted complications have never even occurred in Dr Girardi's personal operative experience of over 1000 procedures. Nonetheless Dr Girardi deals with complications when they occur on a patient-by-patient basis, quickly and personally with a caring and professional approach.

 

Some of the rare complications that may occur include:

  • Bleeding – can very rarely occur in the first 24 hours after surgery and may require a further operation
  • Wound infection – can occur 4 or 5 days after surgery in <1% of all patients having gallbladder surgery. A short course of antibitics is often enough to remedy this complication as well as adherence to strict personal hygiene in and around the umbilicus (navel) area reduces this from occurring
  • DVT (clots in the leg veins) – again a very rare complication associated with most forms of abdominal surgery that may lead to clot travelling to the lungs (Pulmonary Embolism). Compression devices on the lower legs, early mobilisation and subcutaneous injections of blood thinning medication all help avoid this complication.
  • Hernia of the wound – can occur many years later through the 15mm incision around the belly button. Avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity for 4 weeks after surgery helps avoid this problem.
  • Injury to the bile duct – very uncommon complication (~1/400 gallbladder operations in Australia)
  • Leakage of bile – can be related to failure of the titanium clips used to seal the duct to which the gallbladder was attached or damage to the delicate duct structure connecting the gallbladder to the liver. This may require a further operation. Bile leakage may also come from the liver bed to which the gallbladder attaches although again this is not a complication witnessed in Dr Girardi's experience.
  • Retained Gallstones – Gallstones may already slipped into the bile duct and lie outside the gallbladder.  In some instances these stones are difficult to detect at operation.  Rarely, patient's may experience another attack of "gallbladder" pain after having had the gallbladder removed.  The pain is caused by a retained gallstone within the bile duct and may need a further non-surgical procedure called an ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) to remove the stone.