The gallbladder is a small, pear shaped organ located underneath the liver. Its job is to store fluid produced in the liver, called bile, and release it into the small intestine through bile ducts. In doing so, the bile helps to break down fats and digest our food. In some people, gallstones may appear and stop the flow of bile. Gallstones are small, hard cholesterol and bile salts that can cause sharp abdominal pain, vomiting and fevers. Because normal digestion is possible without the gallbladder, the safest treatment for dealing with painful gallstones is to remove the gallbladder entirely.
Some risk factors for gallstones are:
- Women over 40
- No history of pregnancies
- Family history of gallstones
Our patients will receive a thorough medical examination and consultation with our surgeons to decide if gallbladder surgery, also called a cholecystectomy, is necessary.
We perform laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, in which the gallbladder is removed through small incisions in the abdomen. The advantages to this minimally invasive operation are:
- Minimal post-operative pain
- Quicker recovery
- Most patients go home the same day of the surgery
- Enjoy a return to normal activities faster than open gallbladder surgery patients
When appropriate, this surgery can also be performed in a single tiny incision through the belly button, with or without using the robot.