The forming of gall stones (crystal-like masses that normally form in the gall bladder) is one of the most common reasons a gall bladder removal is usually performed. With excess saturated fats and unwanted toxins, the gall bladder can become inflamed and diseased.
Gall bladder removal provides relief from abdominal pain and nausea or vomiting. When the flow of the bile of the gall bladder is blocked from gall stones, the gall bladder may become inflamed (cholecystitis) and pain may occur (biliary colic). Pain is normally felt in the upper to upper-middle right side of the abdomen referred to as "epigastric pain." Sometimes the pain can radiate to the chest or right shoulder and back area, often resembling a heart attack. Patients with acute cholecystitis suffer from intense and acute pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. This episode is usually accompanied by fever. The attack normally worsens within 24 hours. When one suffers a gall bladder attack, nausea and vomiting is usually present along with gas and heartburn. Pain along with nausea and vomiting may be relieved from a gall bladder removal.
Gall bladder removal treats pancreatitis and jaundice. Bleeding and infection can occur when the pancreas is inflamed, as the digestive enzymes damage the tissues. If the stones sit in the bile duct and cannot normally flow to the intestine, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and the eyes by abnormally high levels of bile). Some gall bladder disorders may cause death if left untreated.
Gall bladder removal prevents gall bladder cancer. Although gall bladder cancer is uncommon, a diseased gall bladder can become cancerous.
A risk of death is always a possibility with surgery. Although rare, general anesthesia could cause changes in blood pressure or a heart attack or stroke. Breathing difficulties and pneumonia after a long recovery time can occur.
Because the organs get moved around, pain is present after surgery. Bloating and discomfort is another symptom that is present after the procedure, as some carbon dioxide remains in the abdomen. Blood clots can occur both during and after the surgery. With immobility, blood can collect into the legs causing blood clots.
As with almost any type of surgery, excessive bleeding and infection may occur. There is also the risk of perforation to neighboring internal organs. After gall bladder removal, excess bile and thickening of the bile in the liver may occur, which can lead to the formation of more gall stones.