Gallstones are small stones that form inside the gallbladder from absorbtion of water content from the stored bile. As they get more inspissated, they grow and cause obstruction of the gallbladder.
Normally, the gallbladder fills with bile in between meals. Then, when we eat fatty foods, the gallbladder empties the bile into the intestine. If gallstones are present, it can clog the gallbladder. The stones can also irritate the lining of gallbladder causing choronic cholecystitis. If the gallstone falls in the bile duct, it can cause complete obstruction of liver and pancreas leading to jaundice and pancreatitis respectively.
In most cases, gallstones do not cause any symptoms.If the gallstones are asymptomatic, cholecystectomy (removal of gallbladder ) is not warranted.
Typically the symptoms arising from gallstones includes :
●Belly pain – often on the right side just under the rib cage or in the middle top portion of the belly
●Pain in the back or right shoulder
●Nausea and vomiting
Gallbladder surgery is the most common operation in the United States. Dr. Sukharamwala specializes in Single site cholecystectomy technique where the gallbladder is removed with a small ~ 1.0 cm incision through your belly button. If requested, general anesthesia can be eliminated and it can be done using epidural anesthesia. The surgery does not affect digestion very much. Some patients will complain of bloating, increased frequency of bowel movemetns which is temporary and doesnot affect the quality of life.
If you are advised to undergo cholecystectomy, call our office at (813) 879-5010 for further consultation.