Gallbladder disease can cause severe abdominal pain and distress and can sometimes be a medical emergency. It may cause chronic symptoms that cause patients much gastrointestinal dysfunction as well that patients suffer with for years. Fortunately, you can live quite happily without your gallbladder, so surgery is a highly effective treatment. Mohammed Kalan, MD, FRCS, FACS, at the Washington Institute of Surgery in Chevy Chase, Maryland, specializes in performing minimally invasive laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. To find out more, call the Washington, DC, area office today or book an appointment online.
You might need gallbladder surgery if you have a problem with your gallbladder.
The gallbladder is a small storage pouch for bile. Bile is a fluid your liver makes and uses to help digest fats in your diet. Bile ducts deliver the bile from your gallbladder to your small intestine. When your gallbladder is removed, the liver delivers bile directly to your small intestine.
There are a number of conditions that could affect the gallbladder. These are known collectively as gallbladder disease.
At the Washington Institute of Surgery, Dr. Kalan diagnoses gallbladder disease by taking a medical history, reviewing your current symptoms, and carrying out a physical exam.
Usually, he will also order some additional tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as:
Lifestyle changes can help significantly with many forms of gallbladder disease. Losing weight and managing chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, for example, may be successful in reducing symptoms.
Gallbladder pain can be severe, so you might need to take prescription medication to minimize the pain and reduce inflammation. If the pain and inflammation are severe or recurring, removal of the gallbladder is the best solution.
The most common forms of gallbladder disease that might lead to gallbladder surgery include:
Gallstones or cholelithiasis is the most common type of gallbladder disease. The most common types of gallstones are rich in cholesterol. These stones could be as small as a grain of sand or build up until they are golf ball sized. They become a problem when they block your bile ducts or irritate the gallbladder.
Cholecystitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of your gallbladder. It can be due to gallstones, or there could be other causes, including gallbladder cancer.
Chronic cholecystitis develops as a consequence of having multiple attacks of acute cholecystitis and causes your gallbladder to shrink and become thickened. If shrunken, your gallbladder can’t effectively store or release bile into your small intestine.
Gallstones can lodge in the neck of your gallbladder or sometimes in the bile ducts, a condition called choledocholithiasis. Bile backs up behind the blockage, causing inflammation and gallbladder distension. Choledocholithiasis can be extremely painful and cause fever, jaundice, and vomiting.
Dr. Kalan is an expert in the surgical management of gallbladder tumors. Removal of the gallbladder may even result in cure. Advanced or unresectable tumors are those that are too large or have spread too far and may require a multispecialty team approach to its management.
You can live without a gallbladder, so gallbladder removal is safe and very effective. Dr. Kalan is an expert in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder removal (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), which he’s been performing since 1990, as well as open gallbladder surgery, and can address any issue that requires removal of your gallbladder.
To discuss gallbladder surgery, please call the Washington Institute of Surgery today or book an appointment online.