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A cholecystectomy surgeon is a doctor who specializes in removal of the gallbladder to treat gallbladder diseases like stones and cancer. To become a cholecystectomy surgeon, the doctor needs to complete medical training and attend a residency in general surgery. Some surgeons may pursue a fellowship opportunity to get additional experience and training. Specialists of this nature commonly work in urban areas where they have a large pool of prospective patients.
In a cholecystectomy procedure, the surgeon removes the gallbladder either through an open or laparoscopic incision. A cholecystectomy surgeon focuses on this procedure and learns to perform it with a high degree of skill and a minimum of potential complications. She may specialize in a particular approach and may offer minimally invasive surgery whenever possible. In addition to working on the gallbladder, a cholecystectomy surgeon may also work with the bile ducts, liver, and other neighboring structures.
If a patient has a gallbladder problem that needs surgical treatment, his care provider may refer him to a general surgeon or cholecystectomy surgeon for evaluation. Patients can meet with as many surgeons as they like before they decide on which one they want to work with. Multiple consultations can be helpful, as patients may learn about different approaches and prognoses. Some surgeons are also more friendly and approachable than others, and this may be a concern for patients worried about followups.
The cholecystectomy surgeon can evaluate the patient, look at any medical imaging studies and results of medical tests, and develop an appropriate surgical plan to remove the gallbladder. If there are concerns about cancer, the surgeon may work with an oncologist on the treatment plan. In the operating room, the surgeon can check for signs of metastases and may send a sample of tissue to a pathologist for immediate evaluation. This will allow the surgeon to determine if she got all the cancer, or if she needs to remove some neighboring tissues as well.
The pay for a cholecystectomy surgeon can vary. Years in practice, geographic location, and patient outcomes can pay a role. Surgeons known for safety and an excellent record may be able to negotiate better pay and benefits. New surgeons tend to have less room for negotiation and may have to settle for less than ideal conditions while they build up skills and a reputation. A surgeon who actively attracts patients through referrals and word of mouth recommendation can be particularly valuable for a hospital.