Gallbladder disease remains one of the most common maladies in the first world which shouldn’t be surprising given the rising rate of obesity and fat content of the Western diet. The gallbladder sits just below the liver and stores digestive enzymes. These enzymes are secreted when a patient eats fatty foods to aid in digestion. Without the gallbladder, the enzymes pass directly from the liver to the bowel.
The symptoms of gallbladder disease vary. The most typical symptoms of cholelithiasis or gallbladder stones include pain in the right upper quadrant after eating, often with some nausea or vomiting. Some patients find food tolerable as long as there is a low fat content without any spice. However, once symptoms start, most people will eventually require a cholecystectomy or removal of the gallbladder to prevent future symptoms. Other people may develop an infection of the gallbladder wall or cholecystitis. Antibiotics help prevent the spread of infection, but most patients require a cholecystectomy to remove the problem.
The initial diagnosis of gallbladder disease is an ultrasound and laboratory findings. This may show stones and possibly wall thickening. Gallstones can obstruct the exit to the gallbladder leading to significant pain. Laboratory findings such as an elevated white count are consistent with cholecystitis. Elevated liver enzymes may also indicate a blocked bile duct and require further investigation prior to surgery.
The gallbladder can be removed in an open fashion or laparoscopically. The current standard of care is a laparoscopic procedure. This is a minimally invasive method that uses very small incisions and a camera to remove the gallbladder. Unfortunately, at times a surgeon is unable to safely identify the cystic duct and artery and so an open, or traditional procedure is required. The patient undergoes an incision just under the right side of the rib cage. In both methods, the cystic duct and artery are identified and ligated. This can be performed before or after the body of the gallbladder is removed from the liver bed.
Patients from Brooksville to Sarasota looking for a brilliant surgical specialist to perform a cholecystectomy, contact Dr. Jenna Kazil, a vascular and general surgeon at Florida Surgical Clinic located in Bradenton, Manatee County, FL. Dr. Kazil is a dignified double board-certified general and vascular surgeon with years of experience performing a cholecystectomy under a variety of conditions. Contact Florida Surgical Clinic to schedule your appointment today.