What is a Gall Bladder and What Does it Do?
The gall bladder is a a pear-shaped organ that sits just below your liver on the upper right side of your abdomen. It’s main purpose is to collect, concentrate and store bile.
What does Bile do?
Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver and helps to digest lipids (e.g. fat) in the small intestine.
What are some common disease of the Gall Bladder?
Gall stones ( cholelithiasis) are a common disorder, usually presenting with symptoms of;
- Upper abdominal pain
- Indigestion especially after eating oily foods and belching
If the gallbladder gets inflammed, this is known as Cholecystitis. Symptoms can include severe upper abdominal pain with tenderness, fever, nausea, vomiting and jaundice if there is a stone obstructing the normal flow of bile.
Which doctor to see if you have symptoms like these?
Often, it may be beneficial to see either an internal medicine specialist (Physician or Gastroenterologist) or a General Surgeon who can evaluate whether or not these complaints are due to diseases of the gallbladder.
The doctor will generally do an ultrasound or a CT scan of the gall bladder to detect the presence of stones. Other investigations like blood tests may also be needed.
What is Cholecystectomy?
This is the removal of the gall bladder by surgery.
What is a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?
The removal of a gall bladder (cholecystectomy) can be performed either by using a large incision to remove the gallbladder (traditional method, called an open cholecystectomy) or by inserting a tiny video camera and special surgical tools through 3 or 4 small incisions (0.5 to 1.2cm in size) to see inside your abdomen and remove the gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy).
The advantages of laparoscopic gall bladder surgery is a smaller scar and a less painful wound . This means that patients are able to get out of bed and are able to go home earlier. The shorter hospital stay lessens the risk of post-operative infection and also means patients can recover faster and resume to their normal daily activities earlier.
When is a Cholecystectomy (removal of gall bladder) needed?
Cholecystectomy is used to treat gallstones and the complications they cause. Your doctor may recommend cholecystectomy if you have:
- Gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis)
- Gallstones in the bile duct (choledocholithiasis)
- Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
- Pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis)
Do you need your gall bladder?
After you remove your gall bladder, bile will still be produced by the liver. However, instead of being concentrated and released in large quantities during meal times, small amounts will be continually released into the small intestine. This may not be sufficient to completely digest fatty foods. Therefore, after a gallbladder surgery, patients are usually instructed to keep to a low fat diet.
For more information regarding Laparascopic Gall Bladder surgery please consult our Consultant General Surgeons.
Dr. Ong Kheng Wah,
Consultant General Surgeon
Dr. Ong Kheng Wah 王庆华医生
MBBS (KMC, Manipal), Masters Surgery (UM)
Fellowship in Laparoscopic Surgery (Korea)
Full-Time Consultant1st Floor
+606 - 315 8816