What is a Cholecystostomy Drain?

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that is part of the digestive system. It lies underneath the liver on the right side. Bile, a fluid made by the liver to help to digest fats, is stored in the gallbladder. Sometimes particles in the bile form gallstones. Cholecystostomy is a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure performed by an interventional radiologist to place a tube into your gallbladder to drain it.

Why would you need a Cholecystostomy Drain?

This procedure is sometimes done when the outlet, or “neck” of the gallbladder is blocked by a tumor or gallstone.

The gallbladder may be infected or swollen. Sometimes, the blockage causes pain. The procedure may be used when treatment by removal of the gallbladder is considered unsafe due to one’s condition or if the infection is severe.

Sometimes, the gallbladder requires draining prior to surgical removal. Draining the gallbladder can help reduce both swelling and infection, making later surgery safer.

Risks Involved

Our ability to use imaging guidance and cutting-edge technology minimizes patient risk. Prior to your procedure, your physician will discuss any potential risks with you.

Conditions to let us know about

Let your doctor know if you currently are pregnant or breast feeding, feeling ill, have a fever, or are taking any blood thinners.

Insurance coverage

Cholecystostomy Drain is covered by most private insurance providers as well as Medicare. We will seek authorization from your insurance company prior to your procedure.

Preparing for your procedure

If you are on blood thinners your doctor will instruct you if you need to stop these medications prior to the procedure. If your procedure requires sedation, then you will need a responsible adult to give you a ride home.

Recovering from your procedure

You may possibly receive mild to moderate sedation during your procedure. You will stay in the recovery area until you are ready for discharge. You will be given written post procedure discharge instructions that will advise you about return to normal physical activity. If you have any questions after your procedure, please call the RIA Interventional Suite at 720-493-3406.

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