The gallbladder is a tiny organ underneath the liver that is often not considered. The story is different when symptoms of a gallstone being present occur. The discomfort and pain caused by gallstones can sometimes be severe in nature.
There are generally two reasons gallstones are produced by the gallbladder. Sometimes these are made up of cholesterol deposits that become lodged there. Sometimes they are made up of a fluid that is produced by the liver called bilirubin, a byproduct of the breakdown of hemoglobin.
Precautionary Measures by Doctors
When our patients complain of symptoms that indicate there might be a problem with gallstones, we don’t jump to quick conclusions. The first step is to conduct tests to determine if there are gallstones present in the gallbladder.
Our physicians will first feel the abdomen to check for soreness and tenderness. This is usually followed up with an an ultrasound exam. This provides us with visual imagery of the gallbladder and the presence of gallstones will be apparent if they exist.
Sometimes our patients might have illnesses or preexisting conditions that keep them from having surgery. This is when we choose the option of providing medications in order to dissolve the gallstones.
The medication that is often used for this is called Ursodiol. This is a bile acid that is similar in chemical composition to the kinds found in the gallbladder. It gently dissolves the gallstones without causing much discomfort. This form of treatment might take months or even years to work. The gallstones might also return as soon as treatment is halted.
The Surgical Option
Remember that you don’t need your gallbladder to live. In fact, the removal of a gallbladder also does not affect your ability to digest food properly. It might cause frequent diarrhea for a while, but this is usually stops once the body has adapted to the change.
That being said, a gallbladder removal procedure is called a cholecystectomy. This surgical procedure is very simple and straightforward. Incisions are made on the patient’s abdomen at precise locations in order to remove the gallbladder.
If you think you are experiencing gallstone symptoms, a consultation with one of our physicians will determine the next course of action. Call or visit us at Surgical Associates of South Florida today to learn more. We are located in Miami, FL.