While Common, We Never Treat Your Gallbladder Surgery as Routine
If you are consistently experiencing discomfort or pain after rich fatty foods, a buildup of bile in the gallbladder may be the cause. Gallstones can feel extremely painful and many people ultimately decide to have gallbladder surgery to improve their quality of life.
The symptoms of gallstones include pain in your upper right abdomen below the rib cage, heartburn, nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the pain will radiate into your chest or arms. Read more about diagnosing and treating gallstones.
Dr. Alan Abando and Dr. Nicole Basa, board certified surgeons, remove the gallbladder and bile ducts using a a laparoscopic or robotic approach, including a new single-site surgery.
What Causes Gallstones to Form?
Bile is produced by the liver and used in the digestive process to break down fats, but occasionally can bond with other chemicals to form deposits, or stones, within the gallbladder.
When gallstones migrate out into the channel that leads to the intestines, pancreas and liver, more serious health problems may arise such as jaundice or even pancreatic cancer.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Gallbladder Surgery, or Cholecystectomy
Many people will have periods of relief between the first onset of symptoms and the next attack. They may attribute this to an over-the-counter medication like an antacid, but relief was actually due to the eventual release of gallstones that were obstructing the opening of the gallbladder. Over time, the attacks may become more frequent and the symptoms will feel more severe.
Gallbladder surgery is quite common, and it eliminates a painful digestive disorder by removing a non-essential organ. Today’s newer surgical techniques provide access to the gallbladder through one small opening near the naval.
- Laparoscopy involves the use of 4 small abdominal incisions and a thin, lighted camera and surgical tools inserted through tubes in the openings.
- Multi-port da Vinci Surgery also has 4 entry points, but equips the surgeon with 3D vision and a surgical console/instruments that afford him or her greater dexterity and control.
- da Vinci Single-Site Surgery provides a single-site instrument to further enhance the current da Vinci robotic system.
You can expect to return to regular activities within a week of the outpatient gallbladder surgery. We do caution patients despite having small incisions that there is a risk for hernia formation. We do recommend to refrain from heavy lifting greater than 10 lbs. for 6 weeks. Without the gallbladder, your bile flows directly from the liver to the small intestine, and most patients experience no problems with digestion and can eat a normal diet. Occasionally patients may feel bloating and have diarrhea after a high fatty meal but there is no pain associated with those meals. If you develop these symptoms they tend to normalize with time. We consider this a low-risk and high-reward surgery.
Dr. Abando and Dr. Basa both see patients experiencing disruptive symptoms for gallstones or other common gallbladder problems, including biliary dyskinesia which is when the gallbladder is not functioning properly and causes abdominal pain. They also treat less common gallbladder conditions including gallbladder polyps or tumors. There are no known cures other than surgery for gallstones, nor for biliary dyskinesia.
Contact us at Cedar Park Surgeons to talk with our skilled physicians about gallbladder surgery.