OA Dr. Alexis Freitas, F.E.B.S.
European surgeon for coloproctology Attending Physician in the Wiener Privatklinik
Senior Physician at Göttlicher Heiland Hospital
Profilfoto Dr. Alexis Freitas

Gallstone Disease, Cholecystolithiasis

How do you realise you have gallstones? Many patients do not notice the gallstones, i.e. the gallstones remain silent. Small gallstones can lead to spasmodic pain (colic), especially in the right upper abdomen. Acute inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) causes severe right upper abdominal pain. In the case of bile duct obstruction, jaundice occurs with yellow discoloration of the skin and sclera of the eyes, up to itching over the entire body.

How are gallstones detected or diagnosed? With ultrasound.

Why do gallstones need to be removed? What is the risk of having gallstones? Every fifth patient has acute inflammation of the stone-filled gallbladder (cholecystitis). If a stone gets stuck in the bile ducts, it causes jaundice or dangerous inflammation of the pancreas.

How is the operation done? In most cases, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is possible. The entire gallbladder (cholecystectomy) can be removed via a single incision up to three small incisions by laparoscopy using a minimally invasive technique.

In exceptionally rare cases, e.g. after several previous operations in the abdominal area with intraabdominal adhesion, open surgery with an incision along the costal arch is required. This surgery method is called conventional cholecystectomy and is only still performed nowadays, as I said, in exceptional cases. s for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

How long does gallbladder surgery last? I need 20-40 minutes for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. How long a conventional gallbladder operation lasts depends greatly on conditions in the abdomen.

What is to be expected after the operation? Taking painkillers, you will have almost no postoperative pain. You are allowed to go home on the 2nd to 3rd day after the operation. You will have 1-3 small scars. You must not lift anything heavier than 5kg for 4 weeks after surgery.