What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped structure that is found attached to the liver. The bile duct is a tube that transports bile from the liver to the small intestine. The gallbladder is attached to the bile duct by a small tube called the cystic duct. Bile is collected in the gallbladder between meals and empties into the bile duct through the cystic duct during a meal.
What is the bile duct?
The bile duct is long tube-like structure that connects the liver to the intestine. The liver makes bile that is required for the digestion of food. The bile from the liver is transported to the intestine by the bile duct.
The top half of the bile duct is associated with the liver while the bottom half of the bile duct is associated the pancreas through which it passes on its way to the intestine. It opens in the part of the intestine called the duodenum into a structure called the Ampulla.
Blockage of the bile duct by a cancer or scarring from injury prevents the bile from being transported to the intestine and the bile accumulates in the blood. This condition is called jaundice and the skin and eyes becomes yellow from the accumulated bile in the blood. This condition also causes severe itchiness.
Reasons for Removal of Gallbladder (Cholecystectomy)
A cholecystectomy may be performed if the gallbladder contains gallstones (cholelithiasis), is inflamed or infected (cholecystitis), or is cancerous.
Gallbladder inflammation or infection may cause pain which may be described as follows:
- is generally located on the right side of the upper abdomen
- may be constant or may become more severe after a heavy meal
- at times, may feel more like fullness than pain
- may be experienced in the back and in the tip of the right shoulder blade
Other symptoms of gallbladder inflammation or infection include, but are not limited to, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.
The symptoms of gallbladder problems may resemble other medical conditions or problems. In addition, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a cholecystectomy.
About the Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Procedure
A cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. Using advanced laparoscopic technology, it is now possible to remove the gallbladder through a tiny incision at the navel.