What is Gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a small organ located beneath the liver that stores the bile juice and releases it into the small intestine via the bile duct. The bile juice is a yellowish colour liquid that is used by the body to breakdown fat and eliminates the waste. There are multiple causes to trigger gallbladder diseases but gallstones are the most common one to be found.

Where many people live decades with the gallstones, others require the surgery to remove gallbladder due to chronic inflammation or an infection caused due to the blockage of the bile duct.

What causes Gallbladder pain?

The most common reason for the gallbladder pain is gallstones that are found twice in women as in men. The gallstones are the tiny particles form by cholesterol and other substances in the bile. Whenever these stones move from gallbladder to the small intestine through duct cause pain to the patients. The pain due to these stones is known as biliary colic or a Gallbladder attack.

You can also feel pain when the bile juice creates a reverse motion into the gallbladder. This makes your gallbladder swell and you may experience pain in the right side below your chest.

Types of gallstones

There are two types of gallstones: pigments stones and cholesterol stones that are usually found in the gallbladder. Among these types of stones, the cholesterol stones are the primary one to suspect in most of the cases.

  • Cholesterol gallstones are formed when the cholesterol level is high in the bile. Besides, the gallstones can also develop in the bile if the gallbladder isn’t completely releasing the juice to the duct.
  • Pigments gallstones can develop in cases, where the patient is dealing with certain diseases like cirrhosis of the liver or blood disorders.

What are the symptoms of Gallstones?

Many people live with the gallstones inside their gallbladder for years due to not experiencing any symptoms. In these cases, the stones are called silent stones as they don’t show any [articular symptoms. However, in some cases, the stone causes severe pain that could last for a few minutes to several hours. The patient may feel the pain when these gallstones move from the gallbladder into one of the ducts such as the hepatic duct, the cystic duct, and the common bile duct. This migration can lead to certain disease conditions like acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), cholangitis (infection and inflammation of the bile ducts), and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

The symptoms of the gallbladder stones are-

  • Constant pain in the upper part of the abdomen, between the shoulder blades or under the right shoulder
  • Regular sweating more than usual
  • Frequent vomiting with the pain
  • Fever

What is Cholecystitis?

The gallstones migrate from gallbladder with bile causing blockage of the tube. Due to the blocking, the bile builds up inside the bladder causing inflammation which is called Cholecystitis. The other causes of the Cholecystitis include bile duct issues or tumours, if left untreated this disease can lead to life-threatening problems. In order to cure Cholecystitis, the surgeon has to remove the gallbladder of the patient through surgery. Gallbladder removal surgery is known as a Cholecystectomy. The gallbladder is an essential organ to store to bile and provide when necessary, However, the human body can go without a gallbladder, as bile can directly go into the small intestine and continue to break down fats. there are more than 600,000 cholecystectomy procedures performed in the U.S. every year – the majority of which (9 in 10) are minimally invasive.

How do I know if I need a Cholecystectomy?

Examination by a Surgeon, we can identify if Gallbladder needs to be removed. However, symptoms related to digestion like Acidity and bloating, a feeling of abdominal fullness, indigestion and even a Chronic Diarrhoea are caused due to the dysfunctional or diseased Gallbladder. Consumption of food with an excess amount of fat content can be severe and may become worse in Gallbladder pain.Other symptoms of a Gallbladder problem can include changes in Stool Colour, Fever, Jaundice and pain beneath the right shoulder blade area.

What is the benefit of laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

Laparoscopic gallbladder removal is the most common minimally invasive surgery performed today. Because incisions are very small, this procedure leaves very minimally, if any, obvious scarring. Furthermore, people who undergo laparoscopic surgery tend to have shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, less blood loss and faster recovery times than patients who undergo traditional open gallbladder removal surgery.

What happens during a laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery?

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed under general anaesthesia and typically takes less than one hour to complete. Typically 3-4 incisions are made through which the surgeon will insert a lighted camera and small surgical tools to complete the procedure. Most patients have this perform as same-day surgery and return to normal activity within just a few days.

When Do I need a Common Bile Duct (CBD) Exploration?

When stones from the gallbladder pass through the cystic duct and end up obstructing the common bile duct, there’s a need to remove the stone, which requires ERCP or a CBD exploration, which can also be performed laparoscopically at the time of gallbladder removal. Your surgeon can determine the need for one vs the other.

What Can Happen with a CBD Stone?

Pancreatitis and Cholangitis, both extremely serious conditions, can be the result of CBD obstruction. Thus, removal is an urgent surgical procedure.