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Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder Surgery)

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that lies in the upper right portion of the abdomen on the underside of the liver. It is connected by ducts (or tubes) to the liver, and with the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). The gallbladder forces bile (produced by the liver and essential for digesting fats) out ducts leading into the intestine whenever food (particularly greasy food) is eaten. Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder due to disease or chronic gallstones. When the gallbladder is removed, this function is taken over by the liver and its ducts.

Symptoms of gallbladder problems include:

  • Frequent bouts of indigestion, especially after eating fatty or greasy foods, or certain vegetables such as cabbage, radishes, or pickles.
  • Nausea, vomiting and bloating.
  • Sharp, upper-right abdominal pain. This pain is usually due to ductal blockage due to gallstone(s). If a gallstone becomes stuck in the common bile duct, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin) may occur. This is a serious condition requiring immediate treatment.

Progressive Surgical Associates makes available four types of gallbladder surgery to patients:

  • Open Cholecystectomy — While this type of gallbladder surgery is not commonly performed, there may be some patients with complicated cases who require an open cholecystectomy, involving a larger incision and longer recuperating time.
  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, the most common type of gallbladder surgery, is performed via four small incisions in the abdomen. Patients may go home the same day, and may resume normal activity within a week’s time.
  • Single-Incision Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (SILC), a gallbladder procedure not widely available to patients, is available through Progressive Surgical Associates. For patients who qualify for this procedure, the laparoscope and instruments are inserted through one tiny incision within the navel. Thus, the patient recovers with a single, almost invisible scar in the umbilical area, affording the patient less pain and cosmetic implications than with traditional laparoscopic cholecystectomy and less pain, blood loss, and recovery time than with open surgery. Your doctor can determine if you are a candidate for this new type of gallbladder surgery.
  • Minimally Invasive Cholecystectomy using the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System — If your doctor recommends surgery to treat gallbladder disease, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive da Vinci surgery. Using the most advanced technology available, the da Vinci® Surgical System enables your doctor to operate through a few tiny incisions with breakthrough vision, precision, control and improved access to the affected area.

Unless absolutely contraindicated, Dr. Gamagami performs all gallbladder surgeries laparoscopically. His conversion rate is less than one percent, i.e., the chances of you having an open operation for your gallbladder are less than one out of one hundred.

Dr. Gamagami demonstrates the use of Kii Fios First Entry for this critical part of laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery.