The gallbladder is a tiny, pear-shaped organ located just below the liver. It stores and releases the bile produced by your liver through a duct leading to the small intestine to help digest fat. Gallbladder disease occurs when your gallbladder is inflamed or irritated primarily because of gallstones that block the bile duct, resulting in biliary obstruction. To treat biliary obstruction, one needs to undergo gallbladder surgery.
Common Types of Gallbladder Disease
- Gallstones- These develop when your bile contains too much cholesterol, calcium, and bile salts
- Choledocholithiasis- A condition where the bile cannot pass due to gallstones lodged in the bile ducts or neck of the gallbladder
- Cholecystitis- A common gallbladder disease caused by the inflammation of the gallbladder. It occurs either as:
- Acute Cholecystitis- characterized by a sharp to mild pain in the upper right side or middle part of your abdomen that usually occurs after a meal
- Chronic Cholecystitis- in which your gallbladder shrinks and becomes unable to store and release bile after several incidents of Acute Cholecystitis
- Sclerosing Cholangitis- Occurs when the inflamed and damaged bile duct system causes scarring
- Gallbladder Cancer- Occurs when your gallbladder cells grow uncontrollably, forming a cancerous mass or lump
- Acalculous Gallbladder Disease- An inflammation of the gallbladder caused by a critical medical condition or chronic illness
- Gallbladder Polyps- Usually benign asymptomatic growths or lesions that form in the gallbladder and in rare cases, may be found to be cancerous
- Biliary Dyskinesia- A condition in which your gallbladder has trouble moving digestive fluid from your liver to the intestines thus causing pain.
- Gallbladder Abscess- A swollen area that develops as a result of the accumulation of pus containing bacteria, white blood cells, and dead tissue
- Gallbladder Gangrene- A severe complication of Acute Cholecystitis, resulting in inadequate blood flow to the gallbladder
Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
Some of the common symptoms of gallbladder disorders may include:
- Back pain
- Pain in the right lower rib, right shoulder, and right upper abdomen
Gallbladder Removal Surgery Options at Far North
If you have had multiple episodes of gallbladder inflammation, we recommend undergoing gallbladder removal surgery (cholecystectomy). This is the most common method to treat active gallbladder disease and can be performed either laparoscopically or invasively.
- Open Cholecystectomy
This procedure is performed when your gallbladder is severely inflamed, infected, or scarred from other surgeries or if problems occured during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A large incision will be made on the right side of your abdomen and your tissues will be pulled back to remove the gallbladder.
- Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
About 3 to 4 small incisions will be made in your abdomen, and a laparoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a video camera in the end) will be inserted through one of the incisions, to show your gallbladder on the screen. Next, a surgical instrument will be inserted through another incision to remove your gallbladder.
Why Choose Us for Gallbladder Surgery in Anchorage, AK?
Far North Surgery is a certified and trusted surgery center in Anchorage, Alaska, that specializes in gallbladder disease diagnosis, treatment, and surgery. We are committed to providing successful, safe, and latest surgical procedures coupled with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Our surgeon, Dr. Madhu Prasad, is well-trained and highly experienced in performing open and minimally invasive gallbladder removal surgery.
Contact us today if you are looking for an experienced and the best gallbladder surgeon in Anchorage, Alaska.
Gallbladder Surgery FAQs
How much do I need to pay for a gallbladder surgery?
The gallbladder surgery cost will vary based on multiple factors, such as:
- Facility- The procedure performed in an in-patient facility (hospital) costs more than an outpatient surgery center.
- Location- Patients living in a rural area (with fewer facilities) might have to pay more than those living in an urban area (with many providers to choose from).
- Insurance- If you are insured, you can share the surgery cost with your insurance provider. Otherwise, you will have to pay for it out-of-pocket.
- Additional Office Visits- Follow-up visits after your surgery may cost extra.
- Lab tests- If your doctor wants to test your tissue samples, you will have to undergo a lab test.
- Prescriptions- Prescribed post-surgery medications such as painkillers and antibiotics can increase the cost.
How quickly can I recover from a gallbladder operation?
Most people can return to their routine activities within 7-10 days post-surgery. However, those who have the procedure performed laparoscopically may experience soreness for about one week.
Are there any risks to gallbladder removal operation?
Yes, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is considered to be a major surgery as it carries a few risks and may result in complications in certain situations.
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