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.
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