What to Know about Gallbladder Surgery

The gallbladder is a curious piece of anatomy. A small sac-like organ, its primary function is to store digestive juices to help the small intestine break down fat. This little sachet of bile is likely to go unnoticed — in fact, most people can’t point to its location in the body — until it causes pain. By then, they may be facing gallbladder surgery.

What Gallbladder Pain Feels Like

Tucked beneath and connected to the liver, pain from an irritated gallbladder can come as radiating waves from beneath your right side ribs, and in some cases can even be mistaken for a heart attack due to trouble breathing, tightness in the chest, and nausea. The primary cause of severe gallbladder issues is gallstones. These jagged, rock-like masses form when excess bile and cholesterol crystalize and block the organ from properly emptying its contents. If you have an infected or blocked gallbladder, you may experience:

*Intense pain, especially when eating fatty or greasy foods

*Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes)

*Inflamed or irritated gallbladder walls

Gallbladder Surgery at Olde Del Mar

Performed by both Dr. Bhoyrul and Dr. Farinholt , this general surgery is very safe and typically takes less than an hour to complete. Often patients need only to stay overnight for monitoring. Currently, Dr. Farinholt performs the procedure as minimally-invasive as possible by using the robotic da Vinci Surgical System. With one small incision, your physician can remove and extract your gallbladder from right behind the belly button. Because the robotic procedure requires very little recovery, most patients return to work in just one week.

If the gallbladder is severely deteriorated or damaged, a laparoscopic procedure may be required. This surgical method is also safe and quick, and will allow you to be back to normal activities in a few short weeks.

From the Patient: My Emergency Gallbladder Surgery

Here, Michael Vaughan shares his experience:

“I came under Dr. Farinholt’s care as an emergency admittance to Scripps La Jolla ER in septic shock from a gall bladder blockage. After being stabilized and sent to ICU I was assigned to her for potential gallbladder surgery. What a fortunate thing for me! I had no idea who she was but quickly realized she is a powerfully winning personality who inspires complete confidence in her knowledge and abilities. She isolated the source of my problem and worked quickly to get me into surgery. She had to wait for an OR to become available and adapted her schedule to my needs, waiting hours for one to become open for me. What doctor does that?! She completed a difficult (due to the very bad condition of my gall bladder) laparoscopic cholesystectomy on me with no complications and with terrifically upbeat moral support for my flagging emotional condition. She is a complete gem. Her patients are fortunate to have her on their team! I certainly was! THANK YOU Doctor Gina!”

For more information about gallbladder surgery and the other general surgeries available at Olde Del Mar Surgical, schedule your consultation online or call (858) 457–4917.

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