General Surgery Blogs

Dr. Steven Williams in Boise, Idaho

Don't Ignore Your Gallbladder
29 March 2017

Don't Ignore Your Gallbladder

Emergency surgery is risky business. Once health issues reach a point of urgency, they often involve complications that can be life-threatening. Gallbladder problems are sometimes easy to ignore altogether or attribute to indigestion.

Many sufferers wait until the situation is dire to seek medical treatment. By the time they are admitted into the emergency room, they are usually in tremendous pain. Instead of performing simple gallbladder surgery, ER doctors often have to remove gallstones that are blocking the bile or pancreatic duct.

Untreated Gallbladder Disease

Inflammation, infection, and even organ failure are possible outcomes of untreated gallbladder disease. In spite of medical advances, patients occasionally die as a result of gallstone pancreatitis. If you have been diagnosed with gallstones, don't wait until your condition reaches a critical stage to get help. A scheduled gallbladder surgery is normally much safer and less expensive than an emergency response. An unexpected hospital visit can cost you time at work and unnecessary medical fees.

Symptoms & Pain

Gallstones can exist for years without causing any symptoms at all. When pain does occur, it can range from severe abdominal cramps to nausea and fever. The episodes may last for a short time or cause prolonged agony. Attacks of biliary colic may happen frequently or once every few years. If you've experienced any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor right away. You may have a blockage that can allow intestinal bacteria to enter the gallbladder and cause an infection. An accompanying fever could indicate that your gallbladder is in danger of rupturing.

The pain is not always limited to the abdomen; it commonly appears in the sufferer's back or right side. Excessive heartburn and gas may indicate that a gallbladder issue exists. The problem may even bring on jaundice or lighten the color of your stools. With an x-ray or CT scan, your doctor can see gallstones.

An MRI may be ordered if the bile ducts need to be examined. Since most gallbladder surgeries are minimally invasive, you should plan to have one before the situation becomes serious.


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



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Practicing surgery in the Treasure Valley since 2002