Time to Say Goodbye to Your Gallbladder?
Gallbladder disease is a common cause of abdominal pain. Disease of the gallbladder includes inflammation, infection stones and dysfunction.
The gallbladder is a small sac located under and attached to the liver. It stores bile that is produced in the liver. Bile is used to help digest food. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and is released into the intestine in response to food.
The most common symptom of gallbladder disease is intermittent pain called biliary colic. This pain typically occurs in the right upper quadrant near the ribs and can radiate toward the back. Nausea or vomiting can also occur.
The most accurate way to diagnose gallbladder disease is with blood tests, an ultrasound and other imaging techniques.
Surgery to remove the gallbladder is almost always required for patients with symptoms that have gallstones or if the gallbladder is not functioning normally. Most of the time this can be done laparoscopically (through three or four small incisions) as an outpatient procedure.
Gallbladder disease left untreated can result in chronic scarring, which can make laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder difficult and result in an open procedure with much longer recovery time. Patients can also develop gallstone pancreatitis which can be life threatening. For these reasons we recommend seeing your local doctor or surgeon for evaluation if you suspect you may have gallbladder disease.