Before going ahead with gallbladder removal, there are certain questions you should ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
Make sure you fully understand the surgery; don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your doctor needs to explain the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to your circumstances. Knowing all the relevant information is part of informed clinical consent.
Questions for your doctor
- Are there alternatives to this surgery?
- What type of surgical technique do you recommend, keyhole or open?
- Why do you recommend this technique?
- What are the potential complications of this operation?
- Is this surgery really needed at this time or can it wait?
- What are the likely consequences if I delay it?
- What are the likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your doctor should be able to give you a breakdown of all the costs – this is known as ‘informed financial consent’)
keyhole surgery costs | open surgery costs
- Will there be an additional fee for an assistant surgeon? If so, what will it be?
- How should I prepare for my surgery?
- Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?
- Can I meet with my anaesthetist before surgery?
- What happens during and after the surgery?
- How many operations of this type do you perform each year?
- Do you keep outcomes data on patients who have this operation?
- What percentage of your patients are satisfied with the results?
- What is your complication rate for this surgery?
- How soon can I drive, go back to work or travel?
- Are there restrictions on what activities I can do, like showering, swimming, lifting or having sex?
- Will I need to change my diet during the recovery period and/or over the long term?
- Follow-up appointments (Write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your surgeon).
Tell your doctor if you have any skin lesions, sores, cuts, or a raised temperature, as they’ll need to be treated before your surgery.
You can take most medication as usual, but some may interfere with your surgery. Your doctor will let you know which (if any) you should stop, and when to stop taking it. Don’t forget to mention any complementary or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too.
Print out this page to take to your appointment with your surgeon
Minimise your out-of-pocket costs
Ask your specialists whether they'll participate in HCF's gap arrangements.