Gallbladder calculus or gallstones are lumps that develop in the gallbladder or bile duct due to cholesterol or bilirubin build up. When gallstones obstruct the cystic duct, the gallbladder becomes inflamed, a condition called cholecystitis. This results in a variety of symptoms including back pain, pain in the right shoulder, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and sweating. Other possible and more serious symptoms include biliary colic, infection, jaundice, and pancreatitis.
Patients with gallstones and cholecystitis require immediate treatment especially if they are experiencing severe symptoms. In the majority of cases, doctors recommend gallbladder removal.
Cholecystectomy, the procedure that removes the gallbladder, is widely available in many countries around the world. However, some countries have better medical technologies, more advanced medical facilities, and more competent surgeons than others. For this reason, many patients consider medical tourism where they seek more advanced treatment abroad.
Southeast Asia is currently one of the leading players in the field of medical tourism offering international patients advanced, comprehensive medical services that are up to 75% cheaper than in Western countries such as the United States and United Kingdom. Its key countries, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia have several Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals that are staffed by highly qualified surgeons who have years or even decades of experience in performing cholecystectomy. Using advanced tools and breakthrough methods, they typically perform the procedure using laparoscopic or minimally invasive method that involves smaller incisions. The procedure results in faster recovery time and reduced post-surgical pain, among others.
Aside from advanced treatment, many hospitals in Southeast Asia that cater to international patients also offer a host of related services including local travel arrangements, coordination of doctor’s appointments, airport transfers, accommodation for patients and their loved ones, and translation services, among others, to make the whole process convenient and hassle-free for them.