Gallbladder Scars and Pregnancy

Gallbladder Scars and Pregnancy

Each year an estimated 700,000 individuals in the United States have their gallbladders removed. The surgery ranks among the most common and the most effective, with leaps in laparoscopic techniques ensuring accelerated recovery times. However, despite advances in technology used in gallbladder surgery, scars are still left behind once the process is completed – and many women wonder how pregnancy will affect these scars. It’s an understandable concern, and understanding a few factors can better prepare women for what to expect.

What is Gallbladder Surgery?

Gallbladder surgery (known also as a cholecystectomy) is the removal of the gallbladder, a digestive organ located near the pancreas and liver. This is achieved through a series of careful incisions, with doctors entering through the abdominal cavity and extracting the gallbladder’s fundus, body, and neck. It’s usually done to alleviate pain associated with pancreatitis, bile duct blockage, or pigment stones.  This surgery is considered low-risk, and complications are rare. Patients typically return home within one or two days, and normal activity can often resume within a week.

Read More: Gallbladder Surgery Scars

What Kind of Scarring Results From Gallbladder Surgery?

Most gallbladder surgeries these days are performed laparoscopically using a small camera and thin instruments inserted through small “keyhole” incisions which small scars.

What is Pregnancy’s Impact on Gallbladder Scars?

Pregnancy transforms every body – increasing hormone production, causing tissue swelling, and creating sudden skin discoloration. Women find themselves experiencing an endless array of changes. Changes in the appearance of abdominal scars, including those from gallbladder surgery, are expected, and may include:

Stretching

During pregnancy skin (especially along the abdomen) will expand to accommodate the fetus and its needs. Gallbladder scars will do the same, stretching to keep pace with the stomach. Their appearance will, typically, become elongated and thinner.

Tightening

Some women may experience a pinching sensation while pregnant. Gallbladder scars are often expanded to their limits, resulting in mild or intermediate skin tightness.

Itching

A common pregnancy symptom is itching. Due to a hormonal imbalance, crucial moisture can be lost in the skin. Gallbladder scars are no exception, and will often begin to itch as the trimesters progress. Redness and flaking can also occur.

Note that every case is unique and not all women will experience these changes.

How Long Do the Effects of Pregnancy Last?

After pregnancy, most women will see their gallbladder scars return to a normal state. Their size will decrease and their textures will soften. However, some women have reported cases of symptoms lingering past childbirth including tightening sensations and irritation. Should this occur, it’s recommend to consult with a doctor. He will be able to provide insights into moisturizing creams, vitamin regimens, and other helpful techniques.

Read More: How To Get Rid Of Scars

Pregnancy promises many changes. Gallbladder scars, however, rank among the most temporary and should cause no concerns.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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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.
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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