A Guide To The Gallbladder: Everything You Need To Know

If you suffer from persistent symptoms of gallstones or you have a disease affecting your gallbladder, you may decide to opt for a private gallbladder removal operation. With the length of waiting lists heading in the wrong direction on the NHS, going down the private route may well prove to be your preferred option – especially if you are suffering constant discomfort.

The function of the gallbladder

Your gallbladder is a small organ, shaped like a pouch, that is situated in the upper right section of your abdomen. It stores your body’s bile, a fluid that is manufactured by your liver to help you digest fatty foods. As your gallbladder is a non-essential organ, surgical removal is an acceptable option if necessitated.

Two types of surgery

Instead of having your abdomen cut open in what is called an open cholecystectomy procedure, a laparoscopic procedure utilising keyhole technology may be more appropriate. It is less invasive, and therefore the recovery time is faster.

Obviously, keyhole surgery is preferred where possible; however, it may not be an option. Your gallbladder isn’t one of the body’s most efficient organs. In some instances, stored bile can become quite thick, and it can create blockages along its path of travel.

Another problem is that some people are prone to developing gall stones, which can cause extreme pain when they get stuck either inside the gallbladder or in the ducts down which they travel. While some stones are no larger than a grain of sand, others can grow as big as a golf ball. They can create chronic inflammation of the gallbladder leading to other infections, which can result in:

• Abdominal bloating
• Feelings of nausea
• Actual vomiting
• Pain, sometimes severe

Other considerations that could necessitate private gallbladder removal include:

• Biliary Dyskinesia: This results when the gallbladder doesn’t empty properly.
• Choledocholithiasis: A condition whereby gallstones have transferred into bile duct where they can become stuck, creating a blockage and preventing the further evacuation of bile.
• Cholecystitis: Inflammatory gallbladder
• Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas.

You can still digest your food without a gallbladder:

You will still be able to digest your food normally having had your gallbladder removed. It is, after all, only a storage device, used to store excess bile which is released when you eat fatty foods. Without a gallbladder, bile will continue to be manufactured by your liver and will reach your small intestine. The only difference is that it won’t get stored along the way.

Act now if you are in pain

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, private gallbladder removal could be the right option for you. The longer you leave it before taking action, the worse the symptoms could become, so please act now.