The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that is located underneath the right side of the liver. The normal function of the gallbladder is to collect and store bile, a digestive enzyme produced by the liver. When problems arise with the gallbladder it can often cause abdominal pain and bloating.
Problems that arise from the gallbladder are usually the result of gallstones. Gallstones themselves may not cause harm, but they can block proper drainage and cause a buildup of bile in the gallbladder. This can cause symptoms ranging from vague abdominal discomfort to intense abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, and occasionally yellowing of the eyes or skin. These symptoms warrant medical attention before larger problems occur.
A change in diet and the use of gallstone dissolving medications have not been shown to be effective long term treatments for gallstones. Once symptoms of gallbladder problems arise, they are more likely to recur in the future. The most accepted solution to gallbladder "attacks" is surgical removal of the gallbladder. Removal of the gallbladder has not been shown to interfere with a person’s digestion.
The gallbladder removal procedure is usually performed using laparoscopic surgery techniques. This method is particularly useful because it does not require the surgeon to make a large incision into the abdomen. Instead, the surgeon will make three to five tiny incisions through which a laparoscope, or surgical camera, and a number of long narrow surgical instruments will be inserted. The camera relays the image inside to a TV screen outside, and the surgeon uses the other instruments to separate the gallbladder and remove it from under the liver. Patients are usually able to return home the day of the surgery, and because the procedure requires minimal downtime, there can be a return to normal activities much quicker than with “traditional” open surgery. Laparoscopic gallbladder removal has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for gallbladder problems.
We accept all major insurance plans that provide members with out-of-network benefits. We participate with Medicare and 1199. We do not take Medicaid or any 3rd party managed Medicaid plans at this time. Please call our office for more information at (212) 203-2146.
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