The gallbladder is a small organ next to the liver that secretes bile through a tube, called the cystic duct, to the small intestine for digestion purposes.
Common Gallbladder Problems
The most common problem for a gallbladder is cholecystitis, which is an inflammation of the gallbladder that can block the flow of bile, leading to swelling, pain and potential infection. Cholecystitis can be caused by infection or trauma, as in the case of a car accident.
Gallstones are another possible problem for the gallbladder. If a gallstone develops and momentarily obstructs the cystic duct, the gallbladder can contract in a painful spasm, called a gallbladder attack or biliary colic. If the gallstone gets stuck in the cystic duct, the flow of bile is blocked, resulting in a condition known as acute cholecystitis.
Another form of cholecystitis is chronic cholecystitis, in which the gallbladder remains swollen over a long period, leading to thickening and hardening of the walls of the gallbladder.
Symptoms of Cholecystitis
Cholecystitis typically causes pain in the upper right abdomen that can sometimes move to the back or right shoulder blade. Other possible symptoms include nausea, vomiting, tenderness of the right abdomen, and fever.
For a full diagnosis, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our award winning doctors. 818-696-0091
The Necessity of Surgery
Acute cholecystitis requires an immediate cholecystectomy, which is a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder. Acute cholecystitis is sometimes caused by multiple gallstones getting stuck in the cystic duct. If this is the case, treatment may require an endoscopic procedure (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP) to remove the gallstones before removal of the gallbladder.
While cases of biliary colic or cholecystitis that is not acute, do not require immediate surgery, the only tried and true treatment is a cholecystectomy. Contact us immediately at 818-696-0091 for a consultation to decrease chances of complications.
Depending on the exact details of the case, a cholecystectomy can be performed using either open surgery or laparoscopic surgery.
Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery for Gallstones
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is a surgical procedure used to remove the gallbladder and gallstones through several small cuts (incisions) in the abdomen.
General anesthesia is required for this surgery, which usually lasts less than two hours.
Before the surgeon removes the gallbladder, you may have a special X-ray procedure called intraoperative cholangiography, which shows the anatomy of the bile ducts.
During the surgery, the surgeon inflates your abdomen with air or carbon dioxide in order to see clearly. Then the surgeon inserts a lighted scope attached to a video camera (laparoscope) into an incision near your belly button. The surgeon then uses a video monitor as a guide while inserting surgical instruments into other incisions to remove your gallbladder.
Recovery is much faster and less painful after laparoscopic surgery than after open surgery. With laparoscopic surgery, patients generally go home the same day or the next day, compared with 2 to 4 days or longer for open surgery. Most laparoscopic surgery patients return to their normal daily activities in 7 to 10 days after the surgery.
Avalon has become one of only 7 independently owned surgical centers in the United States to provide robotic surgery to their patients and surgeons. Using the daVinci Robotic Surgery system, our Robotic Surgeons are able to perform highly complex procedures in the most minimally invasive and accurate way.
Robotic surgery exceeds the limitations of other minimally invasive surgical techniques like standard laparoscopic surgery. Robotic surgery gives surgeons the ability to make smaller, more precise movements. The surgeon uses special controls to move the robotic arms that hold the surgical instruments. This gives the surgeon precise control over the instruments. Naturally occurring hand tremors of the surgeon are filtered out by computer software and do not get transmitted to the robotic arm. Robotic surgery also allows the surgeon to sit during the surgery, which leads to less fatigue. In addition, increased viewing capabilities and three-dimensional magnification improve the comfort of the surgeon, allowing for a smoother surgery.
All of these advantages translate to less blood loss, less pain, faster recovery time, shorter hospital stay and less use of pain medication.
Top-rated Doctors and Advanced Surgery Center
If you suspect something wrong or need surgery for your gallbladder, contact us immediately at 888-8-AVALON. Our mission at Avalon Surgery Center is to treat each patient with the utmost respect and excellent care. Our award winning doctors and state of the art facilities in Glendale, CA are available to provide you with the highest level of personalized service before, during and after your surgery.
If you require a consultation with a medical specialist, our physicians have offices all across the Greater Los Angeles Area, within your insurance network. For more information, contact us at 888-8-AVALON.