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What is a Gallbladder?
A gallbladder is a pear shaped organ situated below the right liver which stores bile between meals. Bile is a greenish fluid containing cholesterol produced by the liver which aides in digestion.
- 10-20% of Americans will develop gallstones in their lifetime.
- Of those with gallstones 80% will not develop symptoms.
- Gallstones usually (75%) are made of cholesterol.
- Symptoms associated with gallstones include:
- Episodes of steady, severe pain of the mid and right upper abdomen usually lasting more than 30 minutes and often occurring after a meal high in fat.
- Accompanying symptoms may include back pain, nausea or vomiting.
- Treatment for symptomatic gallstones is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy which involves the removal of the gallbladder with stones using a camera or scope, a visual field created with carbon dioxide gas, long instruments, all through 3 to 4 small incisions.
- 5% of minimally invasive procedures are converted to a larger, traditional incision mostly due to excessive scarring from prior gallbladder inflammation or anatomy not favorable for a safe laparoscopic procedure