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Treatment for a bad gallbladder

Gallbladder pain WEBGallbladder surgery, also known as a cholecystectomy, is one of the most common procedures in the US. You may need this type of surgery if your doctor suspects you have gallstones, an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or gallbladder cancer.

Many people are good candidates for a da Vinci robotic-assisted treatment technique. Surgeons at Spectrum Health Lakeland were early adopters of this revolutionizing technology which produces minimal scarring, faster recovery, in most cases shorter hospital stays, few complications, and less pain.

The gallbladder is a tiny organ that sits under your liver that helps with digestion; it stores bile which helps breakdown fats. The gallbladder is not a vital organ and you can live without it because the liver is still breaking down fats.

Gallstones are lumps of solid material that form in your gallbladder. Stones occur when bile gets hard and stone-like. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball. Your gallbladder may form a single large stone, hundreds of tiny stones, or both sizes at the same time. Stones in the gallbladder can cause painful side effects and put you at risk for other problems. A bad gallbladder can cause a blockage, become inflamed, and even rupture, causing a severe infection in the bloodstream.

Signs that something is wrong

The symptoms of gallbladder problems may look like other health problems. Always seek a medical provider’s care if you are experiencing pain which:

  • Is usually on the right side or middle of your belly
  • May be constant or may get worse after a heavy meal
  • May sometimes feel more like fullness than pain
  • May be felt in your back and in the tip of your shoulder blade
  • May cause nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills 

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