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Why and When Is Gallbladder Removal Necessary

Why and When Is Gallbladder Removal Necessary

Your gallbladder is a small sac that stores a digestive fluid called bile. Everyone is born with a gallbladder, but it’s not an essential organ. And unfortunately for some people, it can be a source of significant pain.

Up to 1 million Americans are diagnosed with gallstones each year, and surgeons in the United States perform about 700,000 gallbladder removal procedures annually. But is gallbladder removal necessary? And how do you know if you need your gallbladder removed?

Elvira Klause, MD, FACS, and our team can help. Dr. Klause is a minimally invasive surgeon specializing in gallbladder removal. Read on to learn the signs of gallstones and when to consider gallbladder surgery.

Why you might need your gallbladder removed

Your gallbladder is on the right side of your abdomen, just below your liver. It’s about the size and shape of a pear. It’s job is to store bile, which it releases into your small intestine during the digestive process.

Most people never have gallbladder problems. But sometimes, the fluids inside your gallbladder can solidify into gallstones. Anyone can get gallstones, but your risk may be higher if you’re:

You may also be more likely to develop gallstones if you eat a diet that’s high in fat, high in cholesterol, or low in fiber.

Unfortunately, gallstones can be quite painful. You might experience symptoms like:

Once you have gallstones, your risk of developing more increases. That’s why Dr. Klause typically recommends gallbladder surgery for most people with painful gallstones.

When to consider gallbladder removal surgery

People who don’t have gallstones or who don’t have symptoms don’t need gallbladder surgery. But if you have gallstone symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Klause.

She specializes in diagnosing and treating gallstones and can help you decide if gallbladder surgery is right for you.

Most of the time, gallstones can be diagnosed with an abdominal ultrasound. If we find gallstones and you have a history of gallstone pain and other symptoms, we may recommend gallbladder removal to treat the condition.

Dr. Klause performs laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which is a minimally invasive procedure that uses very small incisions. After gallbladder removal, you should notice that your gallstone symptoms go away. Full recovery takes about six weeks, and most people don’t notice any lasting effects after the procedure.

Are you bothered by gallstone pain? Gallbladder removal may be the best treatment for you. Contact us online or call our San Clemente, California, office at 949-393-2595 for a consultation.

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