Magnitude of the Problems of Gallbladder
Problems of the Gallbladder like – stones and cancer are very common in India. The incidences of gallbladder stones (Cholelithiasis) as well as Gallbladder Cancer in Northern India are perhaps highest in the world. We do not have data or proper registries to even reflect an approximate figure. The magnitude of the problem is undoubtedly enormous.
Gallbladder stones have been noted to be associated with development of Gallbladder cancer. Northern India has the highest incidence of Gallbladder cancer in the world. It is the most common cancer of the biliary tract and is amongst the most common cancers in the body, especially in females. Gallbladder cancer is a very aggressive and deadly disease. More than 90% patients seek treatment when the disease is very advanced and incurable. Unfortunately, we do not have methodical data and hence the incidence, prevalence and disease burden are grossly underestimated.
Need for “National Gallbladder Day”
Institutionalizing of “National Gallbladder Day” is indispensable and a prime necessity. Gallbladder stones and cancer are a very common cause of disease and death in the country. There is an urgent need to create awareness about this problem. In India – healthcare delivery is not organized. A Quack, Homeopath, Ayurvedic Vaidya, Unani, Yogi – everyone is treating gallbladder stones. Irresponsible, irrational and unscientific practices are rampantly flourishing in the absence of awareness. In the garb of treating the stones without surgery, such people are looting and harming the innocent and gullible Indian patient.
Worldwide, the scientific, trusted and effective way of treatment of symptomatic gallbladder stones is surgery – Cholecystectomy. Cholecystectomy entails removal of the diseased gallbladder along with the stones. This surgery is most commonly performed laparoscopically. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is considered to be the “Gold Standard” treatment for symptomatic gallbladder stones. It is one of the commonest surgery performed by surgeons across the country and the World. We do not have the data as to how many cholecystectomies are performed in India every year.
A National Gallbladder Day should be earmarked to achieve certain objectives:
- Create awareness about the problems of Gallbladder – Stones and Cancer
- Initiate data collection to understand the demographics
- Promote research to prevent, diagnose and manage the problems
- Establish uniform guidelines for diagnosis and management
- Outline protocols and Standard operating procedures
- Weed out Quacks and malpractices
- Strict regulatory control
Who should participate in creating awareness?
- General Surgeon
- GastroIntestinal Surgeon
Who should be the target audience?
- Medical Fraternity
- Healthcare workers
- Population at large
National Gallbladder Day in Honour of Dr. Tehemton E.Udwadia
Dr Tehemton Erach Udwadia is an Indian surgeon and is considered as the father of Laparoscopic Surgery in India. He performed the First Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy in India in 1990. He is the founder president of the Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endo-Surgeons. Dr. Udwadia was awarded the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 2017 for his contributions to growth of surgery in India. Indian Gallbladder Awareness Day can be celebrated on 15th July every year to honour and celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr T.E Udwadia.