The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that resides below the liver on the right upper side of your abdomen. This organ is a storage unit for bile that helps to break down fatty foods.
- Female gender
- Age over 40
While many people live with Cholelithiasis (gallbladder stones) without any symptoms, common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain on the right side of the abdomen or between the shoulder blades
- Nausea/vomiting or diarrhea, specifically with fatty foods
- Associated fever or chills
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
Stones are often diagnosed using an Ultrasound of the abdomen. Patients can also suffer from similar symptoms in the absence of stones, called Biliary Dyskinesia. This is diagnosed with a test called a HIDA scan.
When to seek Emergency Care:
1) Severe abdominal pain that fails to improve
3) Uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea
4) Yellowing of the skin or eyes.
You may be suffering from inflammation of the gallbladder or another gallbladder concern. Inflammation of the gallbladder and related structures can be Acute Cholecystitis, Cholangitis (Inflammation of the drainage tubes), or Choledocholithiasis (stones in the drainage tubes)
Intermittent abdominal pain and symptoms as above may be a candidate for Elective Outpatient Gallbladder Removal. More serious concerns associated with fever/chills/yellowing of the skin and eyes may require a short-term inpatient hospital stay.
Gallbladders are removed Laparoscopically via 4 small incisions.
Very rarely, fewer than 2% require a larger open incision below the ribs