Gallbladder disease affects an estimated 20 million Americans. About one million of these are newly diagnosed, and most have gallstones that usually require surgical removal. While gallbladder disease primarily affects women due to factors associated with multiple pregnancies, obesity and rapid weight loss, men can also develop the disease. Because the symptoms of gallbladder disease can be elusive and may present without gallstones, it can be difficult to diagnose. Left untreated, gallstones can lead to blockage of the bile duct and brief episodes of biliary pain, inflammation of the gallbladder, acute cholecystitis and pancreatitis, even gallbladder cancer. The surgeons at SouthCoast Health are highly trained and experienced in treating gallbladder disease. They have performed many thousands of gallbladder surgeries combined.
For patients with nausea, abdominal pain or indigestion (particularly after eating), the latest diagnostic tools will help determine the cause, nature and extent of their problem. Patients with jaundice and abnormal liver tests also warrant a thorough exam of the biliary tract. Based on these tests, our physicians will recommend the appropriate treatment.
If surgery is required, you’ll be glad to know that SouthCoast Health has highly trained and experienced surgeons. SouthCoast Health offers laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional “open” surgery. Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery usually allows the patient to go home that day or the next morning, produces less pain and scarring and offers a greatly reduced recovery period. In some cases, however, the traditional surgical approach is more appropriate. These patients will benefit from the experience and skill of Dr. Yeager, Dr. Mandel and Dr. Jillard with this method as well.
Visit our Patient Education Guide to learn more about Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery.