Gallbladder Surgery Scars

Gallbladder Surgery Scars

Your gallbladder is a small, but important organ that stores bile produced by your liver, which helps with the digestion of fats. Although it provides an essential function for your digestion system, it is not an essential organ, meaning you can survive without it. Gallbladder surgery is one of the more common surgeries, and as with most surgeries it can leave a scar.

Why is Gallbladder Surgery Performed?

There are a few reasons people undergo gallbladder surgery, which often includes removing the organ. One of the most common problems involves gallstones, which are crystallized bile substances that can cause pain, inflammation and nausea. The inflammation caused by gallstones is known as cholecystistis, and it can lead to fever and severe pain. When this inflammation is recurrent, then the organ is typically removed. Gallstones can also block the ducts draining the pancreas, which can lead to pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, which can be quite serious. The other reason for gallbladder surgery is cancer, which is very rare. Not all instances of gallstones and other gallbladder problems will resort to surgery, although it is the most common treatment. Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S., and typically is done using laparoscopic surgery.

The Benefits of Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that only uses very small incisions. The necessary instruments, typically graspers, scissors, and clip applier are entered into the patient through the small incisions, and the surgeon performs the surgery using a camera. Typically, each implement will be inserted through its own very small incision, for a total of four. Three will be in the right side near the bottom of the rib cage, while the fourth will be above or at the belly button. One version of laparoscopic surgery involves just one incision at the belly button. Traditional surgery requires a six-inch incision for the gallbladder to be removed. The less invasive laparoscopic surgery not only reduces some of the associated risks of surgery, it also greatly reduces the amount of scarring you will have after the surgery.

Treating and Preventing Gallbladder Surgery Scars

When you undergo surgery to remove gallstones and/or your gallbladder, you can prevent how much scarring you have after the surgery. The best way to do this is to treat the wound, following all directives from your doctor. Typically, you will be told to keep the incisions bandaged during the initial healing, and might also apply some antibiotic cream or other healing agent. You also want to minimize any movement, as this could reopen the wound, which will cause further scarring.

Scarring occurs because the skin tissue is damaged, and the more layers of skin that are damaged, the more prominent the scar will be and the longer it will last. Therefore, by keeping the trauma to the skin to a minimum and increasing the skin’s natural healing abilities, you will be able to reduce the amount of scarring you have after the surgery. Once the incision wounds have healed and you get the clear from your doctor, then you can apply a scar treatment cream that will help to further reduce the visibility of your scars.

Have a question about your surgery scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help!

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.


  1. Geoffrey Opio says:

    I underwent surgery on April 2016 and am now feeling well but the scar pains from outside, i consulted my doctor then he gave me a cream but whenever I apply, I could feel like am recovering but sometimes I feel the pain again. So what could be the problem?

    • Hi Geoffrey, your body is still healing. It takes about 1-2 years for scars to fully mature. Was your gallbladder surgery laparascopic or was it done the traditional way? That makes a difference as well.

  2. I had surgery on 10/28/16 but was left with a whole the size of a quarter. Is that normal?

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