Taking Charge of Your Health

(light music) – As for kinda the anatomy of it, the gallbladder’s a
four inch muscular sack, that sits under the liver here
in the right upper quadrant. It does have a function, and
the gallbladder’s function is to be a reserve, or a
reservoir storage tank for bile that our liver produces. Bile is made, and comes down and gets stored in the gallbladder. When we eat our food comes
into the stomach, this muscle contracts and prevents the
food from going through, the food mixes with the stomach acids. At that time, a hormone gets released and then, goes up and
stimulates the gallbladder to contract and empty the
bile into the main bile duct, and then into the intestines. After that happens and
the food is also released, the pancreatic enzymes are also released, and this is where the
digestion process begins. The most common problem we
can have with the gallbladder is the formation of gallstones. 85% of all gallstones
are cholesterol stones. And they usually start off being produced here in the gallbladder. The problems that you can have with gallstone related disease is that when the gallbladder contracts, the gallstone then migrate to what we call the neck of the gallbladder,
and form a partial obstruction. When you have symptoms from gallstones, the common symptoms are epigastric, pain in the middle of the abdomen, or pain the right upper quadrant, some people feel it radiating to the back. When its severe it’s also
associated with nausea, if it gets very severe
it can be associated with vomiting as well. Other findings that you can have with gallstone related
problems would be severe pain that does not go away
within four to six hours, with associated fevers, and some people may even get jaundice. If you have those
symptoms, those are people who usually need to present
to the emergency department to be evaluated and treated sooner. Other issues that you can
have with the gallbladder would be non-gallstone related problems, or what we call biliary dyskinesia. Just because you don’t have gallstones you can still have similar symptoms with right upper quadrant
pain and associated nausea. But it means that the gallbladder isn’t functioning properly. The workup for gallbladder related issues would be laboratory studies
to look at the liver function, to look at your white count, radiographic studies, meaning ultrasound. Ultrasound is the best diagnostic tool to evaluate the gallbladder, for gallbladder wall
thickness, or gallstones. If that study is negative, and you still have gallbladder type pain, the next study would
be a HIDA scan to look to see if the gallbladder
is not functioning properly. If you have gallstone related pain or non-functioning gallbladder, the treatment is what we call a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, or removal of the gallbladder,
through four small incisions, and with little camera,
and little instrument. It is considered out-patient surgery, you come in, get your surgery done, and will go home the same day. The recovery time is much faster because it’s minimally invasive surgery. Most people can go back
to normal activities, without restrictions, in three weeks. As far as dietary changes, most people don’t have to
make any dietary changes, 80% of people can go back to
eating anything they want. There is that 20% that might
find there’s certain things that still upset their systems, and they may have to avoid
those things, particularly fats. With the gallbladder
gone, you’ll still be able to make all the bile you need. Instead of it being
stored in the gallbladder, it will then travel
down the main bile duct from the liver into the intestine, so that you’ll still have the
bile you need for digestion. Right now this is one
of the common procedures we do in the United States. Just because you have gallstones doesn’t necessarily mean you
need your gallbladder removed. It’s only if you’re having gallbladder, or gallstone related issues
with right upper quadrant pain, with radiation to the side,
radiation to the back, nausea, vomiting, or bloating. Those are the most common symptoms related to gallstone pain. – [Narrator] For more
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