The gallbladder lies under the ribs on the right side of your tummy
If you suffer with upper abdominal pain that is worse after eating, often makes you feel sick, and may feel like it is going through to your back – Gall stones may be the cause. I would be happy to see you and discuss investigations with you.
Investigations usually take the form of an ultra sound scan and blood tests. In some circumstances an MRI scan or CT scan may be required.
Gall stones are very common and do not cause any problems in many people. If you have gall stones and have regular attacks of pain particularly after food it may be worth considering surgery and I would be happy to discuss this with you.
In some circumstances gall stones can cause more severe symptoms.
Sometimes the gall stones can cause your gall bladder to become inflamed and infected. This is a condition called acute cholecystitis. It causes severe pain, fever and you are generally unwell. Often people are admitted to hospital for intravenous antibiotics. In these circumstances it is wise to have your gall bladder and the stones removed to prevent further attacks.
Sometimes tiny stones can slip out of the gall bladder and cause inflammation of the pancreas. This can cause a life threatening condition called pancreatitis. If you have had pancreatitis and have gall stones it is wise to have your gall bladder removed.
Sometimes stones can slip out of the gall bladder and block the tube from your liver to your gut known as the bile duct. If this happens you may become jaundiced or “yellow”. Once the jaundice is treated it would be wise to have your gall bladder removed.
Removal of the gall bladder or "cholecystectomy" is one of the commonest operations performed world wide and it is usually done by key hole means.
The gall bladder is pealed away from the liver, a clip is placed at the bottom of it and it is cut away. It is then removed out of your body with the gall stones it contains through one of the “key holes”.
In general it is a very safe operation but there are some risks and I will go through these with you in clinic.
As you can see opposite you are likely to have 4 small cuts where the instruments to perform your surgery were passed into the tummy.
"Port sites" for gallbladder removal surgery
You will usually have upper abdominal pain. The pain can seem as though it is going through to the back. It usually comes on after eating heavy or fatty meals and you may find that you are consciously or subconsciously avoiding these foods. You may have suffered with these symptoms for years.
Having gallstones is common but you must be aware of important things to look out for that may need urgent medical attention. Severe abdominal pain which does not respond to paracetamol, fever, shakes/shivers, and “going yellow” are all important and may be signs of complications of the gal stones that need urgent medical attention.
Mrs SA had several admissions to her local NHS hospital with inflammation of her gall bladder. She felt like she was getting no where and was not being taken seriously by her consultant or her hospital and felt like she was seeing a different doctor each time.
She decided to see Mr Peravali at Little Aston Spire Hospital. Mr Peravali performed her operation with in 2 weeks of seeing her. She had an uneventful operation and is over the moon with the results.
I've had abdominal pain that comes and goes for a while now. What is a the cause? Could it be gallstones?
So you been seen in the outpatients and it turns out that you have gallstones. But what exactly ARE gallstones and how are they treated?
What can I expect on the day of surgery? Will I need to stay in overnight? Will I have a big scar?
How exactly is the gallbladder removed? Is it a keyhole operation?
Does it matter if I have my gallbladder removed? Can I still live life as normal?
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BMI The Edgbaston Hospital
22 Somerset Rd
Birmingham B15 2QQ
(0121) 446 1684
Spire Little Aston Hospital
Little Aston Hall Drive
The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham B74 3UP
(0121) 580 7302