Your gallbladder is a small organ that helps your digestive system by storing bile produced by your liver. But there are instances when the removal of the gallbladder can become necessary.
As experts in gallbladder surgery, Dr. Aliu O. Sanni and our team at Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery in Snellville, Georgia, understand when it’s appropriate to remove a gallbladder. We look at the underlying conditions and weigh the potential benefits against the risks.
Reasons for gallbladder removal
You may need to have your gallbladder removed for a few reasons, including:
One common reason for gallbladder removal is the presence of gallstones, which are solid particles that develop in the gallbladder, leading to intense pain and discomfort.
If gallstones block the flow of bile or lead to inflammation, we may advise removing your gallbladder to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications.
Cholecystitis, or inflammation of the gallbladder, is another condition that may warrant gallbladder removal. Chronic inflammation can lead to complications like infection. In such cases, surgery becomes a viable option to prevent further health issues.
Symptoms of gallbladder disease
Gallbladder issues might cause any of the following symptoms:
- Suddenly experiencing pain in the upper right part of your abdomen
- Escalating pain in the middle of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
- Back discomfort located between your shoulder blades
- Pain in your right shoulder
- Feelings of nausea or episodes of vomiting
- Dark-colored urine
- Light-colored stools
- Rapid heartbeat
- Abrupt drop in blood pressure
The pain can last just a few minutes or several hours.
Making the decision
We typically make the decision to remove your gallbladder after we thoroughly examine and evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic test results. Imaging studies, such as ultrasound or CT scans, can help identify gallstones or inflammation, so we can determine the appropriate course of action.
In some cases, we may recommend surgery immediately, especially if you experience severe pain, infection, or other complications. But we may consider elective surgery if you have recurrent gallstone attacks or chronic conditions that don’t respond well to other treatments.
We also consider your overall health when deciding on gallbladder removal. If you have underlying health issues, surgery may be riskier, and we may first explore alternative approaches like medications or lifestyle changes.
In these situations, you’re involved in a collaborative decision-making process with our team to determine the best course of action.
How we perform gallbladder removal surgery
Advancements in medical technology have led to the development of minimally invasive techniques for gallbladder removal, such as laparoscopic surgery. These procedures often result in shorter recovery times and less postoperative pain compared to traditional open surgery.
Schedule an appointment
To learn more about gallbladder removal and to find out if it’s right for you, reach out to our team. Call 201-565-0876 or click the “request appointment” link above to book online today.