The gallbladder is a small balloon-shaped organ that is near your liver on your right side of your abdomen. It stores and releases bile, a digestive juice created by the liver, to help the body digest foods.
Problems with the gallbladder are very common even in otherwise young and healthy people. Malfunction of the gallbladder can take many forms but usually presents as some combination of abdominal pain and various digestive problems. These problems can range from bloating and constipation, to nausea and vomiting, to reflux, and more. Gallbladder malfunction can be the result of stones (cholelithiasis), inflammation (cholecystitis), or simple poor emptying and function (biliary or gallbladder dyskinesia). Severe gallbladder problems can lead to complications that include liver or pancreatic damage and sometimes require hospitalization.
Gallbladder disease can be diagnosed with a combination of labs, imaging including ultrasounds or CT scans, and a test called a HIDA scan which checks the function of your gallbladder. Often gallbladder disease goes under diagnosed and blamed on many other things including reflux, food intolerance, and irritable bowel syndrome - so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it may be worthwhile to consider evaluation of your gallbladder and its function.
The treatment is often surgical removal of the gallbladder. The liver takes over the job of the gallbladder and restores normal digestion after the gallbladder is removed (cholecystectomy). Dr. Boyett has extensive experience removing gallbladders and performs all gallbladder surgeries minimally invasively - either laparoscopically or robotically using the da Vinci robotic platform. These techniques help to reduce pain and speed recovery. Surgery is a same day surgery and often people are ready to return to work within a few days.
During a minimally invasive gallbladder removal, a series of small incisions are made on the belly. Using thin instruments placed inside the abdominal cavity, the gallbladder is located, separated from the other organs, and removed. Additionally, during the surgery contrast is flushed into the system to verify that the liver ducts are draining normally. The small incisions are then closed with absorbable sutures and glue dressing. This procedure usually takes around 30 minutes to perform and is a same day surgery with quick return to normal function and activity.
Huntsville Weight Loss
4704 Whitesburg Dr., Suite 200
Huntsville, AL 35802
Phone: (256) 669-3638