If gallstones block one of the biliary ducts, the result is inflammation and swelling of the organs "upstream" of the blocked duct.
- This complication alone can cause symptoms and warrants treatment, possibly surgery.
- If untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions such as infection and damage to the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.
- If these organs sustain enough damage, they can no longer carry out their normal functions. This is a life-threatening complication.
If a patient has surgery, you should know the following:
- A person who has had laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder may leave the hospital 12-48 hours after surgery and return to full activities within three weeks.
- If open surgery was required to remove the gallbladder, recovery takes a little longer. The person may leave the hospital within three to seven days and could resume normal activity after a six week recovery period.
- The most common complication of surgery is damage to the biliary tract. If bile leaks out of the biliary system, it can cause an infection.
If a person chooses not to have their gallbladder removed, it is likely you will have recurring abdominal pain and possibly complications.
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