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Gallbladder Complications You Can Avoid With Treatment

Gallbladder Complications You Can Avoid With Treatment

Your gallbladder is a small organ that stores some of the bile made by your liver. Bile helps break down food in the small intestine. 

Your body transports bile through small ducts that can become infected or blocked, causing gallbladder disease. When your gallbladder is inflamed, it affects other organs, too.

Here at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, we see many people with gallbladder problems. The usual treatment is surgery to remove the organ (cholecystectomy). Surgery is the only certain and permanent solution for gallbladder issues. In fact, surgeons across the United States perform about 300,000 cholecystectomies each year, so it is a relatively common surgery. 

If you are considering whether to have surgery, think about all the benefits you’ll experience when you don’t have to fear a painful gallbladder attack coming. Here are the complications you’ll avoid through surgery.

Gallbladder treatment 101

Gallbladder disease is any condition that affects the health and function of this organ. The most common cause of gallbladder disease is gallstones. 

Gallstones form from the cholesterol and other compounds in bile. They vary in size, ranging from microscopic to the size of a golf ball. Usually, small gallstones don’t cause problems, but if you have one that blocks the ducts, symptoms follow. You may experience rapid, intensifying pain in the upper right area of your abdomen. The pain may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, along with pain between your shoulder blades or right shoulder.

Treatment for a gallbladder attack is usually surgery to remove the gallbladder.

What happens if I don’t have surgery?

If you have a single mild attack, surgery may not be necessary. But if you have more than one attack, though, it’s likely you’ll continue to have them in the future.

Inflammation of the gallbladder, bile ducts, or pancreas can occur. Inflammation turns into infection with pain and fever. 

Not getting surgery also puts you at risk of jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct. Jaundice causes dark urine, yellow skin and whites of the eyes, and light-colored stools. Blockage can also lead to a bile duct infection.

If you have gallstones, you’re also susceptible to blockage of the pancreatic duct. This tube runs from the pancreas and connects to the common bile duct. Pancreatic juices essential to digestion run through this passageway. The blockage causes inflammation of the pancreatic duct and pancreas.  The symptoms are intense abdominal pain requiring hospitalization.

Gallbladder cancer is rare, but it is more common in people with a history of gallstones. 

The best treatment for gallbladder disease

Surgery is the best and most reliable treatment for gallbladder issues. Your body can work just fine without a gallbladder. Your liver continues to produce plenty of bile to digest your food — it’s just no longer stored in your gallbladder.

Immediately after surgery, you may need to adjust your diet to avoid high cholesterol and high-fat foods. Eating a lot of these foods can trigger diarrhea or bloating. 

At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, our experienced team has experience performing cholecystectomies. If you’re struggling with symptoms of a gallstone attack or have been advised to have your gallbladder removed, call the office or use this website to set up an appointment today 

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