Gallbladder Surgery in the East Valley, AZ
Serving Tempe, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Casa Grande & Florence
The gallbladder is a small organ located under the liver. It’s responsible for collecting and releasing bile, which aids in the digestion process. Your liver is the organ that produces bile, which is important in fat digestion. The gallbladder may cause distress if gallstones or growths are present. Even though the gallbladder performs a digestive function, the body can get along fine without it. Bile will continue to reach your small intestine — it simply won’t be stored in the gallbladder along the way.
The technical name for gallbladder removal is cholecystectomy. This is one of the most common surgeries carried out in the United States. The team at Surgical Professionals performs this operation with careful consideration and practiced precision, using laparoscopic (minimally invasive) techniques in almost all cases.
To schedule a consultation for gallbladder surgery in Arizona, please contact Surgical Professionals. We operate at most major hospitals in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Queen Creek, and surrounding areas.
Who Needs Gallbladder Surgery?
The gallbladder is vulnerable to complications. Stone formation within the bile in your gallbladder is a common problem affecting millions of people. Gallstones may also form if substances such as cholesterol or bilirubin salts start to solidify in the bile. This can cause severe pain, usually in the right or mid-upper abdomen, especially after eating greasy, creamy, or fatty foods.
Other conditions that could warrant cholecystectomy include pancreatitis caused by gallstones, cholecystitis (acute inflammation of your gallbladder), biliary dyskinesia, and choledocholithiasis (gallstones blocking your main bile ducts).
You might need gallbladder surgery if you exhibit signs of gallstones, including bloating, nausea, vomiting, or severe and sudden pain in your upper right abdomen. Gallbladder disease is diagnosed with an ultrasound, CT scan, blood test, or endoscopy. We at Surgical Professionals would be happy to meet with you to determine if cholecystectomy is the appropriate treatment for your condition.
How Is Gallbladder Surgery Performed?
At Surgical Professionals, we perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This is less invasive than open cholecystectomy, resulting in less pain, fewer scars, and a much shorter recovery period.
Before the operation, you will receive general anesthesia. The laparoscopic method involves making four small incisions in your abdomen. The surgeon inserts a small tube with a tiny camera attached through one of the incisions and inserts surgical tools into the other incisions. The surgeon then operates while viewing the video feed on a monitor.
The surgery usually takes one to two hours, and you usually are able to return home the same day. A one-night hospital stay may be necessary in some cases, especially if a stone has left your gallbladder and is blocking your main bile ducts. Patients typically resume normal activities after one week and reach full recovery within two to three weeks. It’s usually possible to eat a low-fat but otherwise normal diet almost immediately with no ill effects from losing the gallbladder.
If you have excessive scar tissue from a previous surgery or other anatomical complications, you will have a higher chance of needing an open incision to remove your gallbladder. This involves making a larger incision and may require a two- to three-night stay at the hospital. The recovery time is also longer, about four to six weeks.
Risks of Gallbladder Surgery
Laparoscopic gallbladder removal is considered a very safe operation with few side effects. In fact, allowing gallbladder problems to go untreated is far riskier. A diseased gallbladder could become infected or lead to a bowel obstruction, fistula, pancreatitis, gallbladder necrosis, or blockage of your main bile ducts. Cholecystectomy helps prevents these problems.
Still, as with all surgeries, there are risks involved. Fortunately, these are very rare. These include, but are not limited to:
- Bleeding, pain, infection
- Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
- Postsurgical infection
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein)
- Injury to the bile duct or adjacent organs
- Bile leakage
- Post-cholecystectomy syndrome
- Other complications, such as blood clots in your legs or lungs, respiratory failure, heart attack, stroke, pneumonias, and even death
About 1 in 7 patients experience post-cholecystectomy syndrome after having their gallbladder removed. This causes abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea, and, in rare cases, fever and jaundice. These symptoms are the result of bile leakage or residual gallstones. Medication can help, and this condition usually resolves in a few weeks to months without further surgery.
We make every effort to minimize your surgical risks to the minimum. In some cases, we may need to obtain medical clearance from other specialists to reduce your surgical risks.
Please ask your surgeon about any questions you have in this regard. Please note that the above is general information only. Your surgeon will come up with a treatment plan specific to your unique situation.
Schedule Gallbladder Surgery in the Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek & Surrounding Areas
The Surgical Professionals team has decades of experience performing surgical procedures, including gallbladder removal. We always seek to do right by you, our patient, so we begin with a careful consultation to make sure surgery is the right choice. If we determine that another treatment is better for you, we will tell you. Not everyone needs surgery, but if you do, we will work with you toward achieving the best possible outcomes.
Please contact us at 480-892-2456 today to schedule a consultation for gallbladder surgery in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, or Queen Creek.
Please note that the above information is provided for general purposes only and may not apply to your specific situation. Our surgical capabilities may also be subject to change. Contact us to discuss your medical condition, determine the most appropriate treatment for your individual case, and confirm that we can address your procedure.
Gallbladder Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any additional questions about gallbladder disease, please call us at 480-892-2456!
Gallstones can form in anyone, but they are much more common in patients with certain risk factors. The most common link is a high-fat diet and obesity. They can also result from any number of medical conditions.
Also, certain groups — such as women older than 30, people who have lost weight rapidly or repeatedly, and people with a family history of gallstones — can be more likely to develop them. Chronic dehydration due to inadequate intake of water or medical conditions may also contribute to gallstone development.
In most cases, if you have symptoms related to gallstones, we recommend gallbladder removal (aka a cholecystectomy). This is usually done through small incisions in the abdomen with a laparoscopic surgical approach.
Gallbladder removal is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. Most people who have surgery arranged through our office can have it performed on an outpatient basis.
You may read about “flushes” or other nonsurgical options to attempt to get rid of your gallstones. We do not recommend them as they are generally ineffective and, in some cases, can make your condition worse.
If you have symptoms related to your gallbladder, removing it is the wisest choice for most people for long-term health. Other options may be pursued if you are at high risk for surgery or have other extenuating medical circumstances. As with any surgery, you should speak with your surgeon, who will assess your particular medical condition and determine if gallbladder removal is the best option for you.
When it is functioning properly, the gallbladder serves as a place to store the bile produced by your liver until it is needed. Bile is what your body needs to help break down the fats in your diet. Your gallbladder does not produce bile itself. It simply acts as a storage bag and empties bile into your intestine when your body senses a high-fat meal.
When you eat, a healthy gallbladder will release the stored bile into your small intestine to aid digestion and is more active when your meal is high in fat. Without a gallbladder, your liver can supply bile directly; your body will adjust to the change, and digestion will function as normal without issue in most cases, although you may need to modify your diet.
We do recommend that you try to avoid fatty and greasy foods immediately after surgery. As your body gets used to functioning without a gallbladder, most people can eat the foods they enjoyed before, although they may need to eat smaller amounts of fatty and greasy foods.
If you’ve been restricting your diet previously to manage your disease, you may notice that you gain weight or have an upset stomach when you immediately resume eating foods you have been avoiding. If the issue persists, try limiting high-fat foods. A very small percentage of people can have some long-term difficulty with fatty foods.