Cholecystectomy is the medical term used to describe gallbladder removal surgery. The most common reason for gallbladder surgery is to remove gallstones which form in the gallbladder. Gallstones are the cause of gallbladder attacks and common reason for sudden and severe abdominal pain. The pain associated with gallbladder disease occurs when the gallstones block the ducts of the gallbladder and stop the natural flow of bile into the intestines. Gallbladder pain may be felt as a spasm lasting minutes to hours (biliary colic), or as a constant pain signaling a more serious inflammation of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis).
What is the Gallbladder?
Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under your liver. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile, a fluid made by your liver to digest fat. As your stomach and intestines digest food, your gallbladder releases bile through a small tube called the common bile duct. This duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestine.
What Does a Gallbladder Attack Feel Like?
The most common signs and symptoms of gallbladder disease are:
- Abdominal Pain
- Usually located in the upper right abdomen and may feel like stomach cramps.
- Right sided shoulder pain may also be associated with gallstone attacks.
- Low grade fever
- Nausea, vomiting, and bloating
- This can be worse with diets that are high in grease and fat.
Gallbladder symptoms can be similar to those of indigestion or stomach upset and are often mistaken as such.
Surgical removal of the gallbladder is called a Cholecystectomy. The most common type of gallbladder surgery is called a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. During Laparoscopic Gallbladder surgery, Dr. Zadeh will make 3 or 4 small incisions in the abdomen. A port is inserted into one of the incisions, and the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas. This gives Dr. Zadeh room to work inside the abdomen. A laparoscopic camera is then inserted through this port so Dr. Zadeh can see inside the abdomen. Surgical instruments are placed into the other small openings and used to remove the gallbladder. Dr. Zadeh removes the gallbladder through one of the small incisions and then closes the incision sites with naturally dissolving stitches. In certain rare situations (severe infection, variable anatomy, patient safety), Dr. Zadeh may start with a laparoscopic technique and need to change to an open technique which requires a larger incision just underneath the rib cage on the right side. Gallbladder removal surgery usually takes about 1 hour.
Dr. Zadeh is an expert in Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery and makes every effort to operate with the smallest possible incisions to help reduce discomfort and promote faster recovery after your gallbladder surgery with minimal visible scars. Using the latest technology and minimally invasive procedures means better results and a speedier return to enjoying life for our patients!