April 2007


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Dental Crowns

What is a dental crown and why is it needed?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth, covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

A dental crown may be needed:
• To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
• To restore a broken or worn-down tooth
• To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
• To give esthetics to a misshaped or discolored teeth
• To hold a dental bridge in place
• To cover a dental implant

What types of materials are available for crowns?
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.

Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium) or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns. Tooth wear to the opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well. They last the longest in terms of wear down and they rarely chip or break. The main drawback is the metallic color. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down the opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.

Details of the procedure

What steps are involved in crowning a tooth?
Crowning a tooth usually requires two visits – in the first visit the dentist examines and prepares the tooth, and in the second visit he places the permanent crown.

Step 1: Examining and preparing the tooth
Your dentist may take a few x-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and the surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.

Your dentist will first anesthetize your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, he will file down the tooth receiving the crown along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used (for instance, all-metal crowns are thinner, requiring less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones). On the other hand, if a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to “build up” the tooth enough to support the crown.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.

The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist’s office in 2 to 3 weeks. If your crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using a temporary cement.

Step 2: Receiving the permanent dental crown
At your second visit, your dentist will remove your temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.

What should I watch out for after I have received a dental crown?
Discomfort or sensitivity: You will likely experience some sensitivity immediately after the procedure as the anesthesia begins to wear off. If the crowned tooth has a nerve in it, you may experience some heat and cold sensitivity. You may be recommended to brush your teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. If you have pain or sensitivity when you bite down it may usually mean that the crown is too high on the tooth. This problem can be easily fixed by your dentist.

Chipped crown: All-porcelain crowns can sometimes chip. A small chip can be repaired using a composite resin with the crown remaining in your mouth. For extensive chipping the crown may need to be replaced.

Loose crown: In some cases the cement under the crown washes out causing loosening of the crown, which results in bacterial activity in the area and causes decay to the remaining tooth. You must contact your dentist if your crown feels loose.

Crown falls off: Crowns may sometimes fall off due to an improper fit or a lack of cement. You should contact your dentist immediately in such a case. Your dentist may be able to re-cement your crown in place or replace it with a new crown.

Allergic reaction: In very rare cases, you can have an allergic reaction to the metals or porcelain used in making crowns.

Dark line on crowned tooth next to the gum line: Sometimes the metal of your crown may show through in the form of a dark line next to the gum line of your crowned tooth. It is normal, particularly if you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown.

Does a crowned tooth require any special care?
The tooth underlying the crowned tooth needs to be protected from decay or gum disease. You should continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day – especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth.

How long do dental crowns last?
Dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years on an average. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open packaging).

Cost and availability

How much does it cost?
Click here for details.

Which countries/hospitals is it available in?
Click here to check the availability of dental crowns with our partner dental offices.

Healthbase is a medical and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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Dental Implants

What is a dental implant and why is it necessary?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root replacement and is used in prosthetic dentistry. Implants can provide people with dental replacements that are both functional and aesthetic. A dental implant involves a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. It acts as an anchor for a false tooth or a set of false teeth.

Implants can provide people with dental replacements that are both functional and esthetic. After a dental implant restoration is perfectly constructed, neither the patient nor anyone else should have any hint that an implant is there.

Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Anyone in reasonable health who wants to replace missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants. You must have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth to provide for the anchorage of the implants. If you do not have enough bone to support a dental implant, bone grafts can be placed. Implants are used to replace small bridges, removable partial dentures and even missing single teeth.

Details of the procedure

What happens during the dental implant procedure, and how is it performed?
A typical implant consists of a titanium screw, with a roughened surface. This surface is treated either by plasma spraying, etching or sandblasting to increase the integration potential of the implant. At edentulous (without teeth) jaw sites, a pilot hole is bored into the recipient bone, taking care to avoid vital structures (in particular the inferior alveolar nerve within the mandible).

This pilot hole is then expanded by using progressively wider drills. Care is taken not to damage the osteoblast cells by overheating. A cooling saline spray keeps the temperature of the bone to below 117 degrees Fahrenheit (approx) or 47 degrees Celsius. The implant screw can be self-tapping, and is screwed into place at a precise torque so as not to overload the surrounding bone. Once in the bone, a cover screw is placed and the operation site is allowed to heal for a few months for integration to occur.

After some months the implant is uncovered and a healing abutment and temporary crown is placed onto the implant. This encourages the gum to grow in the right scalloped shape to approximate a natural tooth’s gums and allows assessment of the final aesthetics of the restored tooth. Once this has occurred a permanent crown will be constructed and placed on the implant.

What type of anesthesia will be used?
A dental implant is surgically placed under local anesthesia causing the procedure to be generally not at all painful.

How long after a dental implant is placed can it be used to anchor my new teeth?
In earlier days, the waiting time was three months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw before beginning to construct the new dental prosthesis that is supported by the implants.

In recent years, an increasingly common strategy to preserve bone and reduce treatment times includes the placement of a dental implant into a recent extraction site. In addition, immediate loading or “implants in a day” is becoming more common as success rates for this procedure are now acceptable. This can cut months off the treatment time and in some cases a prosthetic tooth can be attached to the implants at the same time as the surgery to place the dental implants.

What precautions will I need to take after the procedure?
Dental implants are not susceptible to dental caries but they can develop a periodontal condition called peri-implantitis where correct oral hygiene routines have not been followed. Risk of failure is increased in smokers. For this reason implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking as the treatment is very expensive.

What are the risks/complications associated with dental implants?
Although there are not many things that can go wrong with dental implants, some of the problems could be:
• Failure to integrate into the bone resulting into the falling out of the implant.
• A fracture or breaking of the implant.
• Problems with the connection between the implant and the prosthesis.
• An infection or an inflammatory condition in the soft tissue and sometimes in the bone as a result of the implant placement.
• Damage to the nerves in the lower jaw and to the maxillary sinus or the nasal cavity.
All of these complications are rare and can usually be easily corrected.

Does it hurt after the dental implants have been placed?
Some discomfort may occur once the effect of the anesthesia wears off about three or four hours after the procedure. Most patients do not have significant problems although the level of discomfort varies from patient to patient. Some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort which may last for several days. Swelling and black and bluing may also develop.

What should I watch out for?
You should call upon your dentist when there is prolonged pain as this is not a good sign with dental implants. Having prolonged pain does not always mean failure but the cause of the pain should be determined as soon as possible.
The implant may have to be removed if an infection develops or if the implant is not properly integrating into the adjacent bone.

What happens if my dental implants are rejected?
In occasional cases when the dental implants fail or are rejected, they can be replaced with another implant, usually of a slightly larger size. The rate of failure is only about 1-5%. This might be somewhat higher in smokers and people with compromised immune systems. The key element to determining implant success is proper diagnosis and treatment planning.

Cost and availability

How much does it cost?
Click here for details.

Which countries/hospitals is it available in?

Click here to check the availability of dental implants with our partner dental offices.

Healthbase is a medical and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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Hysterectomy

What is a hysterectomy and why is it necessary?
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus (womb). In some cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed.

A hysterectomy may be performed to treat:
• Leiomyomas or uterine fibroids (benign tumors) that have increased in size, are painful or are causing bleeding
• Severe endometriosis (uterine tissue that grows outside the uterus)
• Uterine prolapse (uterus that has “dropped” into the vaginal canal due to weakened support muscles) that can lead to urinary incontinence or difficulty with bowel movements
• Cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovary
• Persistent vaginal bleeding that is not controlled by other treatment methods
• Chronic pelvic pain related to the uterus but not controlled by other treatment

A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the United States. One in three women in the US has had a hysterectomy by the age of 60. But, before having a hysterectomy, it is important to discuss other possible treatments with your health care provider. A hysterectomy will stop your periods, and you will no longer be able to get pregnant. If the surgery removes both ovaries, you will enter menopause.

What are the different types of hysterectomy surgeries?
There are several types of hysterectomies:
• A total or complete hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and cervix. This is the most common type of hysterectomy.
• A total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes (salpingo) and ovaries (oophor). If you haven’t experienced menopause, removing the ovaries will usually initiate it since your body can no longer produce as much estrogen.
• A partial hysterectomy is the removal of the upper part of the uterus leaving the cervix in place.
• A radical hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, the upper portion of the vagina and some surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. A radical hysterectomy may be performed to treat cervical or uterine cancer.

Details of the procedure

What do I need to do before surgery?
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?
Your surgeon will explain the procedure in detail, including possible complications and side effects.

A nurse will take your blood and urine sample for testing, give you one or more enemas to cleanse the bowel, shave your abdominal and pelvic areas.

An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in a vein in your arm to deliver medications and fluids.

What type of anesthesia will be used?
You may either be given a general anesthesia in which you will not be awake during the procedure or you may be given local anesthesia (also called epidural or spinal anesthesia) in which medications are placed near the nerves in your lower back to block pain while you stay awake.

What happens during surgery, and how is it performed?
Hysterectomies are done through a cut in the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy) or the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy). Sometimes an instrument called a laparoscope is used (a procedure called laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy or LAVH) to help see inside the abdomen during vaginal hysterectomy. The type of surgery done depends on the reason for the surgery and may last 1 to 3 hours. Abdominal hysterectomies are more common and usually require a longer recovery time.

How long will I be in the hospital?
You will stay in the hospital from one to two days for post-surgery care. Some women may stay in the hospital up to four days.

What are the risks/complications associated with hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy involves some major and minor risks. Most women do not have problems during or after the operation. Some risks include heavy blood loss requiring blood transfusion, bowel injury, bladder injury, wound pulling open, and anesthesia problems (such as breathing or heart problems).

What should I watch out for?
Be sure to call your doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:
• Bright red vaginal bleeding
• A fever over 100°F
• Difficulty urinating, burning feeling when urinating or frequent urination
• Increasing amount of pain

When can I expect to return to work and/or resume normal activities?
In the case of an abdominal hysterectomy, complete recovery usually takes four to eight weeks. You will gradually be able to increase your activities.

In a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy, most women are able to return to normal activity in one to two weeks.
For both, by the sixth week, you should be able to take tub baths and resume sexual activities.

If my cervix was removed in my hysterectomy, do I still need to have Pap tests?
Ask your doctor if you need to have periodic Pap tests. Regardless of whether you need a Pap test or not, all women who have had a hysterectomy must continue to have regular gynecologic exams.

Cost and availability

How much does it cost?
Click here for details.

Which countries/hospitals is it available in?

Click here to check the availability of hysterectomy with our partner hospitals.

Healthbase is a medical and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy and why is it necessary?
Colonoscopy is a minimally invasive endoscopic examination that allows your doctor to look at the interior lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon) through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called a colonoscope. It may provide a visual diagnosis (e.g. ulceration, polyps) and grants the opportunity for biopsy or removal of suspected lesions.

Colonoscopy is done to:
• Detect problems or diseases of the anus, rectum, or large intestine (colon). These tests are often done to investigate symptoms such as unexplained bleeding from the rectum, prolonged diarrhea or constipation, obvious or hidden (occult) blood or pus in the stool (feces), or lower abdominal pain.
• Evaluate the source of internal bleeding.
• Screen for colorectal cancer or polyps.
• Evaluate abnormal results from a barium enema test.
• Monitor the growth of polyps that cannot be completely removed.
• Screen for recurrence of colon or rectal cancer in people who have had surgical treatment for colon or rectal cancer.
• Remove polyps or take tissue samples (biopsy) when colon cancer or other bowel disease is suspected.
• Monitor treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
• Evaluate an unexplained drop in hematocrit (one sign of anemia), usually along with an EGD (oesophagoastroduodenoscopy), in older patients and sometimes in younger patients as well.
• Remove foreign bodies.
• Evaluate the cause of chronic diarrhea.
• Some patients may need to have the colonoscopy repeated regularly to make sure new abnormalities have not developed.

Due to the high mortality associated with colon cancer and the high effectivity and low risks associated with colonoscopy, it is now also becoming a routine screening test for people 50 years of age or older. Subsequent rescreenings are then scheduled based on the initial results found, with a five- or ten-year recall being common for colonoscopies that produce normal results.

Details of the procedure

What do I need to do before this procedure?
Before the procedure, you will also be asked to go on a clear liquid diet for 1-2 days to help decrease the formation of any stools.
For a colonoscopy, the colon needs to be very clean. For this reason, on the day before the colonoscopy, a laxative and large quantity of fluid will be given to you. This will cause significant diarrhea that will clean the colon of any stools. A whole bowel irrigation may also be performed to clean the colon.

You may be asked to stop taking aspirin products or iron supplements 7 to 14 days before the test to avoid the risk of bleeding if a polypectomy is performed during the procedure. If you take blood-thinning medications regularly, discuss with your doctor how to manage your medication.

What happens on the day of the procedure?
Your surgeon will explain the procedure in detail, including possible complications and side effects. He may use an enema 30 to 60 minutes before the test to completely cleanse your colon.

What type of anesthesia will be used?
During the test, you may receive a pain medication and a sedative through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm or hand. These medications reduce pain and will make you feel relaxed and drowsy during the test. You may not remember much about the actual test.

What happens during colonoscopy, and how is it performed?
You will lie on your side with your knees drawn up toward your abdomen. Once you are in position, the doctor will first check for tenderness or blockage by inserting a gloved finger into your anus. Then, the colonoscope will be inserted and advanced while the intestinal lining of the colon will be examined through the scope. In some settings, the doctor may also view your abdomen on an X-ray screen (fluoroscope) to check the position of the colonoscope.

Your doctor will try to examine the entire length of your large intestine. As the colonoscope is withdrawn, extra care will be taken to examine the entire inner lining of your colon.

The doctor may also insert tiny instruments (forceps, loops, swabs) through the colonoscope to collect tissue samples (biopsy) or remove growths. The biopsy test is completely painless.

The test usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, but it may take longer, depending upon what is found and what is done during the test.

Why is a tissue sample collected during colonoscopy?
In some cases, a sample of tissue (biopsy) may be collected during the colonoscopy. In that case, it will be sent to a lab for further analysis. Samples of colon tissue are usually sent to a pathology lab, where they are examined under a microscope for evidence of certain diseases. Other samples of colon tissue may be sent to a microbiology lab to determine whether certain kinds of infection are present. Your doctor may be able to discuss some of the findings with you immediately after the procedure. Other results are usually available in 2 to 4 days. Tests for certain infections may take several weeks.

How long will I be in the hospital?
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure. After the test, you will be observed for 1 to 2 hours until the medications wear off. When you are fully recovered, you will be released from the hospital.

What precautions will I need to take after the procedure?
You will not be able to drive or operate machinery for 12 hours after the test. Your doctor will tell you when you can resume your usual diet and activities. Drink lots of liquids after the test to replace the fluids you may have lost while you were taking the laxative solution but do not drink alcohol.

What are the risks/complications associated with colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a very safe procedure that could be life saving. However, as with other procedures, there are some risks and complications attached with it.
• There is a slight risk that a tear or hole in the lining of the colon may occur. This is called gastrointestinal perforation and requires immediate major surgery for repair.
• There is also a slight risk of causing a colon infection.
• Bleeding may occur but such complications can be treated immediately during the procedure by cauterization via the instrument.
• Delayed bleeding may also occur at the site of polyp removal up to a week after the procedure and a repeat procedure can then be performed to treat the bleeding site.
• People who have certain types of heart murmurs, artificial heart valves, or previous infections of a heart valve will need antibiotics before and after the test to prevent infection. An irregular heartbeat may occur during the test but nearly always subsides on its own without treatment.
• Complications due to anesthesia include cardiopulmonary complications such as temporary drop in blood pressure and oxygen saturation.

What should I watch out for?
After the test, you may have bloating or crampy gas pains and may need to pass some gas. If a biopsy was done or a polyp removed, you may have traces of blood in your stool (feces) for a few days. If polyps were removed, you may be instructed to avoid taking aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for 7 to 14 days after the test.
Be sure to call your doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:
• Heavy rectal bleeding
• Severe abdominal pain
• Fever
• Dizziness

Cost and availability

How much does it cost?
Click here for details.

Which countries/hospitals is it available in?
Click here to check the availability of colonoscopy with our partner hospitals.

Healthbase is a medical and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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Cholecystectomy

What is a cholecystectomy and why is it necessary?
Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, which is located in the abdomen beneath the right side of the liver. Gallbladder problems are usually the result of gallstones. These stones may block the flow of bile from your gallbladder, causing the organ to swell. Despite the development of non-surgical techniques, it is the most common method for treating symptomatic gallstones. Other reasons for having this surgery done include cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), cholangitis (inflammation of the bile duct), gallbladder cancer and biliary dyskinesia (abnormal gallbladder function).

Each year more than 500,000 Americans have gallbladder surgery. Surgery options include the standard procedure, called laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and an older more invasive procedure, called open cholecystectomy.

What are the different types of cholecystectomy surgeries?
There are two methods of cholecystectomy: open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. Open surgery is the traditional way to removing the gallblader whereas laparoscopic surgery is the latest and minimally invasive way of doing it.

Details of the procedure

What do I need to do before the surgery?
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?
A nurse will review your chart and confirm that all the paperwork is in order. You will be taken to a pre-operative nursing unit where the anesthesiologist will start an IV. You will then be taken to the operating room. After the appropriate form of anesthesia is administered, surgery will be performed.

What type of anesthesia will be used?
Gallbladder removal is performed under general anesthesia, which will keep you asleep during the surgery.

What happens during surgery, and how is it performed?
If your surgery is performed laparoscopically, your surgeon will make three to four small incisions and insert tube-like instruments through them. The abdomen will be filled with gas to help the surgeon view the abdominal cavity. A camera will be inserted through one of the tubes. The camera sends a magnified image from inside the body to a video monitor, giving the surgeon a close-up view of the organs and tissues. Other instruments will be placed through the additional tubes. The surgeon watches the monitor and performs the operation by manipulating the surgical instruments through separate small incisions. The gallbladder is identified and carefully separated from the liver and other structures.

Finally, the cystic duct and the cystic artery are clipped with tiny titanium clips and cut, then the gallbladder is removed through one of the small incisions. This type of surgery requires meticulous surgical skill, but in straightforward cases can be done in about an hour.

If performed with the open method, a larger incision about 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 cm) will be made in the abdomen through which the surgeon will remove the gallbladder.

How long will I be in the hospital?
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy does not require the abdominal muscles to be cut, resulting in less pain, quicker healing, improved cosmetic results, and fewer complications such as infection. Most patients can be discharged on the same or following day as the surgery.

However, after an open surgery, patients usually remain in the hospital for about 3 to 7 days.

What are the risks/complications associated with gallbladder removal?
As with any surgery, there are risks such as bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Other risks include injury to the bile duct or the bowel. Your surgeon will inform you of the risks prior to surgery.

What should I watch out for?
Be sure to call your doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:
• Fever
• Worsening pain
• Redness or swelling around the incision
• The incision is warm to the touch
• Drainage from the incision

Will there be scar(s)?
If the procedure is performed laparoscopically the incisions should heal well, leaving small discrete scars. If the open method is used, a larger scar will be present.

When can I expect to return to work and/or resume normal activities?
Most patients can return to any type of occupation in about a week as there are no restrictions after laparoscopic gallbladder removal. You will be encouraged to return to normal activities such as showering, driving, walking up stairs, light lifting, and work as soon as you feel comfortable.

If you had an open surgery, you should not engage in heavy lifting or straining for six to eight weeks after the surgery.

Cost and availability

How much does it cost?
Click here for details.

Which countries/hospitals is it available in?
Click here to check the availability of cholecystectomy with our partner hospitals.

Healthbase is a medical and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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