Gallbladder pain can be agonizing, and some forms of gallbladder disease are potentially life-threatening. If you’re having problems with your gallbladder, Harvinderpal Singh, MD, FACS, and Viet Phuong, MD, FACS, of General & Minimally Invasive Surgery in Tomball, Texas, can help. They offer advanced, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery to resolve gallbladder disease. Find out how you can get relief from gallbladder pain by calling the General & Minimally Invasive Surgery office or booking an appointment online today.
The gallbladder is a pouch near your liver that your body uses to store bile — a fluid that helps digest fat. Tubes called bile ducts carry bile from the gallbladder to your small intestine.
Several conditions (known collectively as gallbladder disease) affect the gallbladder. These conditions can cause severe upper abdominal pain, and some are potentially life-threatening.
Some of the conditions that can affect your gallbladder include:
Gallstones (cholelithiasis) is the leading form of gallbladder disease. Tiny particles in your blood come together to form stones that could be the size of a grain of sand or develop into golf ball-sized masses. If gallstones block your bile ducts, they can cause excruciating pain.
Cholecystitis is acute gallbladder inflammation that might arise from having gallstones. It can also be due to other causes, such as gallbladder cancer.
Chronic cholecystitis may develop if you have numerous attacks of acute cholecystitis that make your gallbladder shrink. If this happens, it can’t perform its functions of storing or releasing bile into the small intestine.
Gallstones sometimes get stuck in the bile ducts or the neck of your gallbladder, causing choledocholithiasis. The build-up of bile behind the blockage causes inflammation and enlargement of the gallbladder. Choledocholithiasis can cause fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), vomiting, and extreme pain.
Cancer develops when cells within the gallbladder mutate, reproducing rapidly to form masses that grow and sometimes spread.
You might be able to reduce gallbladder pain by making lifestyle changes like losing weight and avoiding fatty foods. It’s also important to manage chronic medical conditions like diabetes effectively.
You might need prescription medication to relieve gallbladder pain, as it can be severe. If these measures aren’t working or you have a type of gallbladder disease that won’t improve without further intervention, you might need gallbladder surgery.
In some cases, your surgeon at General & Minimally Invasive Surgery might be able to preserve your gallbladder. For example, a small, contained tumor may be resectable, meaning your surgeon can take the cancerous tissue out and repair the gallbladder.
However, in most cases, the best option is to remove the entire gallbladder. Your gallbladder isn’t essential, so extracting it resolves the problem without causing significant adverse effects.
The surgeons at General & Minimally Invasive Surgery use minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques to perform highly accurate gallbladder removal.
If you have gallbladder pain, call General & Minimally Invasive Surgery for an expert assessment or book an appointment online today.