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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    When is surgery the best option for cholecystitis?

    Related Topic
    I have cholecystitis and am wondering if eventually I will need my gall bladder removed..?
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  • 8


    Mr Niruben Rajasagaram

    Bariatric (Obesity) Surgeon, General Surgeon, Upper GI Surgeon (Abdominal)

    Niruben Rajasagaram - Consultant Bariatric, Oesophagogastric & General Surgeon. He specialises in benign/malignant conditions that affect the upper gastrointestinal tract, as well as obesity and … View Profile

    If you have had cholecystitis once, there is a more than reasonable chance that you will get another complication from gall stones in the future. This could be recurrent biliary colic, cholecystitis, cholangitis, biliary obstruction, gall stone pancreatitis or even a small bowel obstruction in some cases.Majority of patients i know would not want to go through that pain again if it were true cholecystitis and not just biliary colic. 

    In my practice and those of most specialist surgeons, if you present with cholecystitis we would recommend an immediate operation(laparoscopic cholecystectomy). In most cases you should be able to go home the next day after the surgery. There are specific complications that you need to be aware about but these will be discussed in person with you at the time of consultation 

    Kind regards

  • 5


    Dr Jason Wong

    Bariatric (Obesity) Surgeon, General Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Upper GI Surgeon (Abdominal)

    Jason Wong is a skilled Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon with expertise in sleeve and gastric bypass surgery, gallbladder, hernia, endoscopic pilonidal, antireflux and emergency general … View Profile

    The standard of care currently is to have surgery as soon as possible for acute cholecystitis.  This is because there is a high chance of further attacks of cholecystitis or other gallbladder related pain.

    Previously acute gallbladder surgery was only performed in the first few days after onset of cholecystitis symptoms.  However, for laparoscopic surgeons skilled in operating on acute gallbladders, surgery can often safely be performed even 1 to 2 weeks after symptoms have started.  After surgery, patients will often go home the following day.

    By deferring surgery with view to a cholecystectomy in the future once inflammation has settled (known as an interval cholecystectomy), this may overall increase the total amount of time you spend in hospital, increase days spent not working, and may ultimately also make the eventual gallbladder operation more difficult due to chronic inflammation and scarring.  There is also a chance that the inflammation will not settle which will ultimately mean a more difficult operation, increasing the chances of complications.

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