The gallbladder’s primary function is to act as a storage for bile. It is located right under the liver and is attached to the main bile duct. The liver makes bile and secretes it into the main bile duct. From there, bile can pass directly into the small intestine to aid in absorption of fats, or it can be stored in the gallbladder. When we eat fatty foods, a signal is sent to our gallbladder to squeeze out extra bile, so that we can absorb the fats from our meal.
Diseases of the Gallbladder
Bile Duct Obstruction and Pancreatitis
Unfortunately, like other organs, cancer can originate from the gallbladder. When diagnosed at early stages, removing the gallbladder can offer the greatest chance for cure. In some instances, removing a portion of the liver and bile duct may be indicated as well.
Risk Factors for Gallbladder Disease
Classic risk factors for developing gallstones and gallbladder disease include the following:
- 40 years old and older
- Women who have been pregnant
Although no specific gene has been identified for developing gallbladder problems, certain populations have been noted to have an increased incidence of gallbladder diseases and may be seen in families.
Signs and Symptoms
- Abdominal pain after eating, typically located in the middle of the upper abdomen or right side of the upper abdomen
- Pain may radiate around the side towards the back
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Heartburn or indigestion
Removing the gallbladder is most commonly performed with minimally invasive surgery, using laparoscopy or robotics, and four small incisions. Surgery lasts approximately one hour. Some patients may go home the same day of surgery, and others may require one-night hospitalization. After surgery, patients can resume their normal daily activities with minimal restrictions. Few patients may experience diarrhea after having their gallbladder removed, but most do not. Of those who do, diarrhea typically resolves with time. Most patients feel completely recovered and are back to normal activity by 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Robotic Gallbladder Surgery Ramsey
If a patient detects any of the signs and symptoms mentioned, the next step should be seeking medical assistance. The decorated Dr. Anthony Pozzessere welcomes all patients to his clinic in Ramsey, New Jersey.