Gallstones and gallbladder removal

Gallstones are small stones that form in the gallbladder which are made of cholesterol. In most cases, treatment for gallstones is not needed as you will have no symptoms and develop no complications.

Gallbladder removal surgery may be necessary if you have been diagnosed with gallstones that are causing you problems.

Gallstones can cause severe tummy pain if they block a bile duct. The pain may last between 1-5 hours and it might be difficult to find relief from this pain.

If left untreated, gallstones can develop into serious complications. Symptoms of these complications may include:

  • Persistent pain
  • High temperature
  • Rapid hearbeat
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Feeling unwell
  • Confusion
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Diarrrhoea
  • Itchy Skin

Neil has extensive experience in assessing and diagnosing gallstones. You can book an appointment to see Neil without a referral.

Appointments are often available within 24-48 hours.

Gallstones can cause severe tummy pain if they block a bile duct. The pain may last between 1-5 hours and it might be difficult to find relief from this pain.

If left untreated, gallstones can develop into serious complications. Symptoms of these complications may include:

  • Persistent pain
  • High temperature
  • Rapid hearbeat
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Feeling unwell
  • Confusion
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Diarrrhoea
  • Itchy Skin

Neil has extensive experience in assessing and diagnosing gallstones. You can book an appointment to see Neil without a referral.

Appointments are often available within 24-48 hours.

Frequently asked questions

about gallstones and gallbladder removal

How do I book an appointment?

If you’re enquiring about seeing Neil privately for gallstones, you can enquire directly with his medical secretary, who will arrange an appointment as soon as is convenient for you. Neil runs clinics across London and Central and West Kent.

What happens at my initial consultation?

When you arrive at the hospital, one of the friendly reception team will greet you and confirm your details. Neil will then meet you in the waiting area and take you into the consulting room for your appointment. Neil will take a thorough medical history and ask you about your symptoms including any specific triggers that cause you pain or discomfort.

What scans and tests might I need?

Neil will recommend different scans and tests depending on your symptoms and the severity of your gallstones. These could include:

  • Ultrasound
  • MRI
  • Cholangiography (a dye is used to see blockages using an X-ray)
  • CT Scan
What are the treatments for gallstones?

Neil may recommend that you have keyhole surgery to remove the gallbladder. This is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Several incisions are made and your tummy will be inflated using gas. This is so Neil can see the area better and he will look at a screen using a laparoscope (a long thin tube with a light and camera on the end which is inserted into an incision).

Your gallbladder will be removed and the gas from your tummy will be released. This procedure usually takes about 60-90 minutes and a general anaesthetic will be used so you will be asleep.

Complications are rare from this type of surgery but may include infection, bleeding, bile leakage and injury to the bile duct, intestine, bowel or blood vessels.

How long does it take to recover from gallbladder removal?

If you have keyhole surgery, you may go home the same day or stay just overnight. You should be back doing normal activities within two weeks. Open surgery has a slightly longer hospital stay and you should expect to stay in hospital for up to 5 days.

Your recovery period may take up to 8 weeks. You can function normally without your gallbladder and will suffer no long term adverse from having it removed.