The gallbladder plays a role in digestion. It stores bile, which is created in the liver, and then releases it into the small intestine, where it helps the body break down food. Sometimes, hard formations called gallstones develop inside the gallbladder. Made of either cholesterol or bile, these small pieces can sometimes cause pain or infection. There are other forms of gallbladder disease, such as polyps or cancerous growths, but most gallbladder problems are caused by gallstones.
Before the procedure, you will be given general anesthesia. As soon as you’re unconscious and prepped for surgery, the surgeon will make a few small incisions in your abdomen. The surgeon will then insert a small tube fitted with a lighted camera. The camera will send real-time images to a monitor. The surgeon will use the screen as a guide while removing the gallbladder with surgical instruments. After removal, the surgical team may take special x-ray or ultrasound images in order to ensure that there are no problems with the bile duct or with loose gallstones. If at any time, the surgeon happens to notice scar tissue, or if bleeding occurs, then a larger incision (approximately six inches) may be required.
People may experience pain or discomfort in the affected area, particularly when lifting, bending, or coughing. Hernia pain is somewhat common but not universal; often a bulge appears without any unwanted sensations. Signs of strangulation include nausea, vomiting, and the sudden onset of pain. Anyone who feels these symptoms should call a doctor and discuss their options.
After the procedure, you should feel relief from pain. Most likely, you’ll have no trouble digesting food. Since the gallbladder isn’t required for healthy digestion, most patients experience no ill effects.
More importantly, our team of world-renowned surgeons have saved countless lives, and have enabled countless more to live healthy, happy lives.