Your gallbladder is an organ that you can live without, which is good to know if you’re experiencing the pain associated with gallstones and other gallbladder issues that require a surgical fix. The surgeons at Chicago Surgical Clinic in Arlington Heights, Illinois, understand how debilitating gallbladder disease can be and do their best to schedule your gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy, as quickly as possible. Schedule a visit at the top-rated Chicago Surgical Clinic online or by phone today.
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped, hollow organ that stores and concentrates bile, which is a brownish liquid produced by your liver to aid in the digestion of fats. When food enters your small intestine, your gallbladder contracts and releases bile into the small intestine via the common bile duct. The gallbladder is not producing any bile, and body can function without it if surgically removed.
Gallstones, or cholelithiasis, are the most common cause of gallbladder pain. These hardened deposits of bile mixed with cholesterol can be as small as a grain of sand or grow to golf ball size. You may not have any symptoms until a stone becomes lodged in your bile duct or is large enough to block bile from draining out of the gallbladder. Gallstones can also block the bile ducts and cause injury to the surrounding structures. Timely removal of the gallbladder is essential in order to prevent those life-threatening complications of gallbladder disease.
Inflammation of the gallbladder, known as cholecystitis, is another condition that can lead to gallbladder pain. It’s often related to gallstones that are preventing bile from draining out of the gallbladder. It may also be related to tumors, infection, or other serious illnesses.
Biliary dyskinesia, caused by weak contractions of the gallbladder, occurs when bile doesn’t drain properly from your gallbladder, which can lead to inflammation and pain. Gallbladder disease can also easily affect vital organs, such as the liver and pancreas, and can lead to irreversible damage if left untreated.
Gallbladder pain from any of these issues may be felt in your upper-right to middle abdomen and frequently travels into your right shoulder or upper back between your shoulder blades. It’s often quite severe and may last for a few minutes to hours. It is usually associated with meals, so it may return repeatedly throughout the day.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the preferred method for gallbladder removal. This is a minimally invasive procedure that your surgeon at Chicago Surgical Clinic performs using surgical instruments and a flexible tube with a camera known as a laparoscope, which is inserted through a number of small incisions in your upper abdomen under anesthesia.
The camera feeds live video to a monitor that your surgeon views as they perform the operation. Small incisions, decreased trauma to surrounding structures, and faster healing time compared to traditional open surgery gets you back to light-duty work within two to three days. It can take six to eight weeks to recover fully from an open cholecystectomy.
To learn more, schedule a cholecystectomy consultation at Chicago Surgical Clinic online or by phone today.