Gall Bladder Surgery
If you’ve been experiencing abdominal pain in the region of your gallbladder, you’re in good company. Gallbladder surgery or removal is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States.
But what exactly is the gallbladder and what does it do?
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that resides underneath the right side of the liver. The gallbladder’s main job is to collect and concentrate a digestive liquid called bile which is produced by the liver. Bile is then released from the gallbladder after eating, which aids digestion.
For most people, however, the removal of the gallbladder does not result in any impairment of the digestive system.
What are some common problems associated with the gallbladder?
Gallbladder problems are often caused by the presence of gallstones. Gallstones are small hard build ups that form in the gallbladder or in the bile duct; they are comprised mostly of cholesterol and bile salts.
Gallstones cannot be prevented in people that are prone to experience them. It is currently unknown why some people are more prone to gallstones than others.
These stones can obstruct the flow of bile from the gallbladder, causing the organ to swell and the patient to experience sharp abdominal pain, intense vomiting, indigestion or fever. In some cases, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin) may also occur.
What are the types of surgery available to me?
There are many approaches to gallbladder surgery, also known as a cholecystectomy. Eastern Surgical will work with you to determine the approach that best suits your health needs.
In open gallbladder surgery, your surgeon will remove your gallbladder through a single, large incision in the abdomen. You will need general anesthesia, and the surgery lasts 1 to 2 hours. Your surgeon will make an incision either under the border of the right rib cage or in the middle of the upper part of the abdomen before removing the gallbladder.
This is considered a more invasive approach than more modern alternatives. In most instances, we do not recommend open gallbladder surgeries because laparoscopic or robotic surgeries result in minimal scarring and are equally safe. However, some patients have existing health conditions that require open gallbladder surgery.
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, involves the removal of the gallbladder and/or gallstones through small incisions in the abdomen. Eastern Surgical uses as few incisions as possible.
Our surgeons then insert a lighted scope attached to a video camera, known as a laparoscope, into an incision near the belly button. The surgeon will then use a video monitor to guide the insertion of surgical instruments and the removal of your gallbladder.
You will need general anesthesia for this surgery, which usually lasts 2 hours or less.
Robotic / Single-site robotic
Eastern Surgical specializes in the most advanced, modernized form of gallbladder removal surgery. Robotic surgery involves sophisticated da Vinci Robotic technology which enables our surgeons to remove the gallbladder through a single, tiny inch-long incision through the navel — resulting in a virtually painless and scarless experience.
The da Vinci System is similar in concept to laparoscopic surgery but features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system coupled with flexible single-site instruments, so the camera and tools insert through the same incision. These features enable Eastern Surgical to operate with enhanced vision and precision.
With da Vinci Single-Site Surgery, your gallbladder is removed through a single small incision in your belly button similar to traditional single-port laparoscopy. Patients who choose da Vinci Single-Site Surgery experience virtually scarless results.
What should I expect following the operation?
For many, gallbladder surgery is an outpatient procedure, or some patients may need to stay 1 or 2 days in the hospital.
After surgery, bile flows directly from the liver through the common bile duct and into the small intestine. Once the gallbladder has been removed, your body will no longer store bile between meals. However, for most people, this has little or no effect on digestion.
Most patients can return to their normal activities 7 to 10 days following surgery. In most instances, no special diets or other precautions are needed following the procedure.