What is the gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a storage sac under the liver that holds bile made by the liver until it is needed to help digest a meal. After a meal, the gall-bladder contracts squeezing the bile down the bile duct into the intestines to help digest food.
What are gallstones?
Gallstones form when substances dissolved in bile come out of solution forming stones in the gallbladder.
How do gallstones cause pain?
When the gallbladder contracts after a meal, the stones can get pushed up against the duct which drains the gallbladder, causing a transient blockage.
What does a gallbladder attack feel like?
Symptoms often include post-eating pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen under the ribs. It can also be associated with nausea, bloating and sometimes pain in the back near the shoulder blade. Fatty or rich foods are often the trigger for gallbladder attacks.
What diagnostic tests can I expect for evaluation of my gallbladder?
Common tests ordered by your doctor to evaluate suspected gallbladder disease may include ultrasound, CT scan, lab tests or HIDA scan, which is a gallbladder function study.
How is the gallbladder pain treated?
The best treatment for gallbladder attacks is the removal of the gallbladder. Patients who have the gallbladder removed can live nutritionally normal lives and do not usually require dietary changes.
How is the gallbladder removed?
In most cases, gallbladder surgery involves a minimally invasive laparoscopic approach using small instruments and a camera to remove the gallbladder containing the stones.
What is recovery after gallbladder surgery like?
Many patients can go home the same day they have surgery. Some patients with severely diseased gall-bladders may need to stay in the hospital for additional antibiotics and treatment.
Andrew Kramer, M.D., FACS
Eastside Surgical Associates