The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under the liver that stores and concentrates bile to help digest fat. Gallbladder disease includes inflammation, infection, or blockage (obstruction) of the gallbladder. The most common blockage is a gallstone. Gallstones are pebble-like and solid and can be as large as a golf ball or as small as a grain of sand. Gallbladder disease is very common, affecting about 10–15% of adults in the U.S.
Symptoms of gallbladder disease may include:
- Pain in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen, particularly after eating
- Abdominal fullness
- Fever, nausea, and vomiting
- Clay-colored stool
- Yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice)
Treatment for gallbladder disease may include lifestyle changes and medication. However, when nonsurgical treatments do not ease symptoms, gall bladder removal surgery, or cholecystectomy, may be needed. More than 1 million people in the U.S. have their gallbladder removed each year.
Manual laparoscopic surgery is the most common surgery used to remove a gallbladder. During manual laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon removes the gallbladder and gallstones through several small incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon first inflates the abdomen with air or carbon dioxide and then inserts a lighted scope attached to a video camera (laparoscope) into one incision near the belly button. The surgeon then uses a video monitor as a guide while inserting surgical instruments into the other incisions to remove the gallbladder. In certain cases and situation the gallbladder may need to be removed via an open incision.
Dr. Kahlil Shillingford is a board certified general surgeon who specializes in advanced laparoscopic surgery. His office is located in Boca Raton, Florida and he services the neighboring areas of Coral Springs, Margate, Parkland, Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Please call the office at (561) 483-0844 for further information and consultation.