If you’ve had severe pain in the upper right quadrant of your body, or experienced nausea, bloating or pressure there, you may have been diagnosed with gallstones. Gallstones are hard masses that form in your gallbladder, an organ that stores bile from your liver and releases it to help digest meals that are high in fat. They can cause terrible discomfort – as you probably know – particularly when they move out of the gallbladder and block the bile duct or duct to your pancreas. But the good news is, the gallbladder is not an essential organ. And removing it is a highly effective treatment.
In many cases, surgery called a cholecystectomy is required, particularly for stones that are large. As Dr. Hameed Koury explained, “Surgery is done laparoscopically almost every time. It’s rare that we have to do a more invasive procedure. And with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, a patient’s recovery time is short, usually within 48 hours. Normal activities can usually be resumed within a week.”
It’s Important To Treat Gallbladder Problems Quickly.
There are two major reasons not to wait to get the recommended treatment for your gallbladder:
- Once you’ve had a gallbladder attack, you are far more likely to experience another one. And nobody should have to go through that again.
- “Delaying care greatly increases your risk of complications such as inflammation of the gallbladder, bile duct or pancreas, and of jaundice. These can lead to a serious medical emergency and may require a more extensive surgical procedure with a far longer recovery time,” said Dr. Koury.
If you’ve been diagnosed with gallstones and want a second opinion, you can find a physician and schedule an appointment here. Or, if it’s time to schedule a procedure and you’re ready to choose a skilled, caring surgeon, also visit us at Baptist Health Richmond Surgical Services.
Financial counselors are available to help if you have concerns about the cost.