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  • Keyhole gallbladder surgery or laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the “gold standard” treatment of symptomatic gallstones.
  • Price: up to $500 with adequate Private Health Insurance (self-pay options are available)

Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)

LapSurgery Australia surgeons have a major interest in the management of patients with gallbladder disease and have many years of experience performing this procedure.

  • Benefits
    • No further severe attacks of pain
    • Relief of after meal nausea and fullness
    • Preventing complications from gallstones, eg. infection in the gallbladder, gangrene of gallbladder and cancer of gallbladder
    • Relatively quick recovery after surgery with little pain
    • Fewer dietary restrictions
  • Risks

    All surgery involves some risk. Risks can be broken down into two groups, those related to surgery in general and those specific to the operation being performed. Risks of surgery in general include risks of anaesthetics, infections inside the abdomen and in the wound, lung problems, blood clots in the leg or lungs and even death. Death from routine gallbladder surgery is exceptionally rare but has happened. If you have other health problems such as heart or lung problems, diabetes, smoking or excess weight the general risks of surgery are increased.

    The major risk specific to the laparoscopic cholecystectomy operation is damage to the main bile duct system. This is a very major complication with potentially serious long term problems. Other possible complications specific to the laparoscopic cholecystectomy include bile leakages, bleeding and infection forming under or around the liver. LapSurgery Australia surgeons are able to deal with such complications to ensure recovery is complete. Please note that all risks mentioned are not all inclusive and a thorough discussion with your surgeon will occur.

    Acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)

    Acute cholecystitis occurs when a gall stone gets stuck in the outlet of the gallbladder and does not release. This causes a build-up of bile in the gallbladder which causes a chemical reaction of the bile literally starting to digest the gallbladder causing inflammation and unremitting pain. Then bacteria, which naturally occurr in the gallbladder, can cause infection making the situation worse and possibly leading to gangrene of the gallbladder. Emergency surgery is usually recommended and keyhole surgery may not be possible.

  • Costs
    With Private Health Insurance

    If you have private health insurance there is no waiting list. If you wish, your operation can usually be performed within a week or two or planned at a time of your choosing. For most patients with full private health insurance there will be some extra costs not covered by Medicare or your health fund. The cover provided by your health fund will vary according to which fund and which level of cover you you have. In some cases you may have to pay an “excess”. It is your responsibility to check with your health fund prior to surgery. Full financial details will be provided to you prior to surgery unless the surgery is done as an emergency. Occasionally other tests, procedures or specialist consultations may be necessary and some other costs incurred.

    Without Private Health Insurance

    Public hospital waiting lists may be very long. There is no choice of surgeon in the Public Hospital and your LapSurgery Australia surgeon cannot not be involved in your operation.

    Hospitals used by LapSurgery Australia for gallbladder surgery are:

    • Mulgrave Private Hospital – Mulgrave
    • Knox Private Hospital – Wantirna
    • Peninsula Private Hospital – Frankston
    • St John of God Berwick Hospital – Berwick