A gallbladder attack, or gallstone attack, can be quite painful. The gallbladder is a small sack that is located in the upper abdomen on the right side, below the liver. It stores bile produced by the liver. Bile is used in breaking down fats and absorbing certain vitamins. Sometimes, hard stones develop in the gallbladder. The stones are made of a combination of fats, proteins, and minerals. When they block the bile duct, bile builds up in the gallbladder and causes a gallbladder attack.
Depending on the severity of the condition, doctors may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder. However, doctors usually don’t do surgery until some of the inflammation has gone down and antibiotics have had a chance to start fighting the infection. While waiting is the current practice, a new study suggests that it may be better to perform the surgery sooner.
Why Immediate Surgery May Be Better
To determine the effect that waiting to conduct gallbladder surgery has on the outcome, researchers used data collected between 2012 and 2016. The data was from around 50,000 people who had had gallbladder surgery. The participants were divided into three groups. One group had their gallbladders removed within 24 hours. Another group had surgery between 24 and 72 hours. The third group had their gallbladders removed 72 hours or more after having been admitted to the hospital.
When participants had surgery more than 72 hours after admittance, their average stay in the hospital was 5 days. In comparison, when surgery was performed within 24 hours, patients typically stayed for only a day. In those who had surgery between 24 and 72 hours, the average hospital stay was 2 days. In addition, people who had delayed surgery were more likely to experience blood clots and infections. They also were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of surgery.
Signs of a Gallbladder Attack
Regardless of what treatment protocol the doctor advises for your older family member, the first step in getting treatment is recognizing the symptoms of a gallbladder attack. Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain that lasts for several hours
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever or chills
- Jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Urine that is dark in color or stool that is light in color
If your older family member has gallbladder surgery, home care can help them during recovery at home. A home care provider can allow them to rest and heal by taking care of things around the house, including cooking and cleaning. A home care provider can also remind the older adult to take medications, such as antibiotics, prescribed by the doctor.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable Elder Care in Lawrenceville, GA, and surrounding areas.
Call (770) 965.4004 for more information.
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