The gallbladder is a small organ situated in the upper portion of your abdomen. Its job is to collect and store bile, a liquid that helps your body break down and digest your food. The problem is, the gallbladder is not always an efficient organ, and sometimes hard deposits called gallstones form, causing pain, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms.
The most efficient gallstone treatment is surgery. Today, surgeons can remove the gallbladder through laparoscopic surgery, which involves very few, very small incisions.
What causes gallstones?
You are at higher risk of gallstones if you meet the following criteria:
- You are female
- You’ve had children
- You are overweight
- You are 40 years or older
- You have a family history of gallstones
What are the symptoms of gallstones?
If you experience the following symptoms, you may have gallbladder problems:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sharp pain in the abdomen area
- High fever
- Yellow-tinged skin called jaundice
How are gallstones diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects you have gallstones, they will likely ask you to take a test called an ultrasound. This pain-free examination enables your doctor to see inside your body.
In some cases, you may need to undergo a CT or HIDA scan.
How are gallstones treated?
If you are diagnosed with gallstones, you might first investigate medications and treatments that claim to dissolve your gallstones. Unfortunately, these don’t often work and leave you feeling defeated and frustrated.
Surgery is the only guaranteed method of gallstone treatment.
Gallbladder surgery – Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, what is it?
Until recently, gallbladder removal – known as cholecystectomy – was an invasive procedure that required large incisions and significant downtime. Today, many patients with gallstones can enjoy full recovery after a minimally invasive laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Here are some of the benefits of laparoscopic gallbladder surgery:
- Smaller incisions
- Less pain after the surgery
- Swifter recovery
- Faster return to work and other everyday activities
Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is not suitable for everyone. If you have severe gallbladder problems or already had surgery in the gallbladder area, we may discuss other treatment options with you, including open surgery.
Get the individualised support you need
Gallstones can be painful, and the prospect of surgery can be nerve-wracking. Your comfort, safety, and wellbeing are our chief concerns. Our patient-centred approach gives you the peace of mind you need to pursue treatment and start living the pain-free life you deserve.
To get started, contact our friendly team and schedule an appointment today.