If you have gallstones or another gallbladder problem, you probably have abdominal pain and nausea. Most gallbladder issues need to be treated surgically. You can count on Andrew Bower, MD, FACS, at Northeast Oregon Surgical Clinic in Pendleton, Oregon, for expert surgical care. He specializes in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries and often can remove the gallbladder with only a few small incisions in the abdomen. Call or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about your surgical options.
Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located under your liver. It stores bile, cholesterol, and other fluids made in your liver. Your gallbladder delivers bile to your small intestine, where it helps break down fat and supports your body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients.
Gallstones are hardened deposits of cholesterol or calcium bilirubinate that form in your gallbladder. While you may have gallstones for a long time and not experience any symptoms, when they become large enough to block the passage to the small intestine, you develop issues including inflammation, infection, and pain.
You can also have gallstones in your bile duct, which leads from your gallbladder to your small intestine. Gallstones that develop in your bile duct, instead of traveling to the duct from your gallbladder, are rarer but more likely to lead to an infection and pain.
In addition to gallstones, there are a variety of other gallbladder problems including:
Gallbladder removal surgery is the most common treatment for gallstones. Nearly 80% of cases of gallstones are treated with surgery.
Dr. Bower uses a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery called a cholecystectomy to remove your gallbladder. While you’re under general anesthesia, he makes a few small incisions in your abdomen and inserts a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a surgical tool that sends images from inside your body to a monitor in the operating room so Dr. Bower can see your organs.
Using the laparoscope and other specially designed surgical tools, Dr. Bower carefully detaches and removes the diseased organ.
With laparoscopic surgery, patients are often able to go home the same day as your surgery. Dr. Bower gives you specific instructions for recovery, and you can expect to get back to your normal activities within a few weeks.