The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that rests beneath the right side of the liver. Its main purpose is to collect and concentrate a digestive liquid (bile) produced by the liver. Bile is released from the gallbladder after eating, aiding digestion. Bile travels through narrow tubular channels (bile ducts) into the small intestine. Removal of the gallbladder is not associated with any impairment of digestion in most people. Gallbladder removal is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. Today, gallbladder surgery is performed laparoscopically. The medical name for this procedure is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.
Gallbladder problems are usually caused by the presence of gallstones: small hard masses consisting primarily of cholesterol and bile salts that form in the gallbladder or in the bile duct. It is uncertain why some people form gallstones. There are no known means to prevent gallstones. These stones may block the flow of bile out of the gallbladder, causing it to swell and resulting in sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, indigestion and, occasionally, fever. If the gallstone blocks the common bile duct, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin) can occur.
When gallbladder removal is necessary, Surgical Specialists of Ocala prefer to preform it laparoscopically. It is the least invasive procedure with a quicker recovery. Not all patients are candidates for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery and an “open” procedure is required. Our Ocala surgeons will always defer to the safest and most effective option for each patient.