5 Signs You Might Need Gallbladder Surgery

Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that sits below your liver on the right upper-side of your abdomen. Although it plays an important role in your digestive system, acting as a storage reservoir of bile produced by the liver, it is possible for you to live without it. This is a good thing as gallbladder disease is very common, necessitating its removal. Once the organ is gone, your liver will still produce bile needed for food digestion, but it will drip it directly into your digestive system.

Gallbladder surgery is among the most common surgical procedures, bringing relief to a range of symptoms, from abdominal pain to unusual changes in your digestive health. 

If you’re experiencing the following symptoms, seek medical guidance. For surgery purposes, contact Surgical Associates of North Texas by phone or our website to book an appointment.

You’re in significant pain

Pain and tenderness are the most common reasons people seek diagnosis for gallbladder issues that require surgery. When gallstones develop and cause a blockage in the exit point of your gallbladder or in your bile ducts, bile can no longer travel normally. This will cause your gallbladder to become distended, with your body sensing this distension as pain. This pain tends to be sudden, severe, and occur at the center or upper right part of your abdomen. Your abdomen may also feel all-around tender when you have problematic gallstones. 

You’re nauseated for no other obvious reason 

All types of gallbladder problems can cause nausea and vomiting. These and related digestive problems, such as excess gas and acid reflux, only take place when you have chronic gallbladder disease. The definitive treatment for this disease, which involves ongoing blockage of one or more bile ducts, is surgery to remove the gallstones causing the obstruction or the gallbladder. 

You have unexplained fever or chills

Fever and chills could be a sign you need gallbladder surgery, if these symptoms derive from a gallbladder infection. When this is the case, prompt diagnosis and care are extremely important. Left unaddressed, infections affecting the gallbladder can worsen and become dangerous. If an infection spreads to other parts of your body, it can be life-threatening. 

You look a bit yellow

If a gallstone is blocking one of your bile ducts because of biliary disease, meaning the ducts are gradually being destroyed, you can develop jaundice. Jaundice causes your skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of your eyes to turn yellow as a result of high levels of a bile pigment known as bilirubin. Your doctor can help determine if your symptoms stem from gallbladder problems or another cause, such as hepatitis.

You have unusual urine or stools 

Because bile is usually excreted in stool, a blockage in the bile pathway will lead to unusually light-colored stools.  The excess bile that is now building up in the bloodstream will look for an alternate route out of the body. The kidneys will then begin processing the excess bile via urine, which will cause it to become darker than normal.  Either of these are signs that you may have a bile duct blockage and require immediate attention. 

If you suspect you may need gallbladder surgery, contact Surgical Associates of North Texas. Dr. deVilleneuve and his team would love to help you find your way toward stronger vitality.

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