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Gallbladder and Bile Duct Treatments

What you need to know about Gallbladder and Bile Duct treatments

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ of the digestive system that is located just below the liver.  It functions to store and to release bile, a digestive fluid made by the liver. Bile helps break down fats in the foods you consume.  Normally, bile moves smoothly through the digestive system in a healthy individual.  


A gallbladder disorder can occur when excessive amounts of cholesterol clump together to form hardened masses called gallstones.  When this happens, you need to come in for an examination. A blocked bile duct is at risk for infection and inflammation. 

Common symptoms of gallbladder disorders are severe pain in the abdomen that may come and go or remain constant, back pain, nausea and vomiting accompanying attacks of pain, severe belching and gas, and alternating fever and chills.

Diagnosis to determine gallbladder disorders begin with a physical examination.  In the first part of the exam, I will gently press on the upper abdomen to feel for an enlarged or tender gallbladder. Next, ultrasound scan of the upper abdomen will be done.

After that, Dr. Aldoroty may order a test known as ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography). This allows me to view the area using a lighted endoscope which is passed down the throat and into the small intestine. Contrasting material is injected into the bile ducts, and x-rays are taken.  

Treatment Options
The best treatment for removing gallstones and preventing new ones from developing is surgical removal of the gallbladder. Remember that like your appendix and spleen, the gallbladder is an organ you can live without. The absence of the gallbladder doesn’t inhibit digestion; bile simply passes directly from the liver to the small intestine. Each year, approximately one million Americans have their gallbladders removed because the organ has become inflamed or contains gallstones. The medical term for the operation is cholecystectomy.

Open Surgery
Conventional, open surgery maybe suggested based on your age, general health, and medical history. It is most often used when scarring from past surgeries make it a safer procedure for the patient. The open incision allows my surgical team a full view of the gallbladder and bile ducts. Small clips or sutures close of the bile duct and blood vessels to prevent bleeding and bile leaks. Once the clips are in place, the gallbladder is removed. The incision is closed with sutures or staples. 

Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopic techniques may be used for removal of the gallbladder. Laparoscopic surgery involves tiny incisions (less than an inch long) and special instruments. A small video camera (the laparoscope) permits us to view the operation on a monitor. The same procedure - cutting and closing - is used here as in the open surgery. The advantage of the laparoscopic technique is less pain, less blood loss, less risk of infection and quicker recovery time.

Dr. Aldoroty might need to switch from laparoscopic surgery to open surgery during the operation, if it is determined that a larger incision is necessary to safely remove the gallbladder. All of his patients are informed ahead of time that this change in surgical approach may be taken once into the operation site.

Dr. Aldoroty wants the best possible outcome for his patients so he operates with the utmost care in all surgical methods used.

Please contact Dr. Aldoroty's office to learn more about all of the individualized, complete, and advanced medical procedures available to meet your healthcare needs.
For your convenience, his office is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m., and by appointment.

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