4 Evidence-Based Gallbladder Surgery FAQs Patients Want Answered

The gallbladder resides in your upper abdomen. This pear-shaped organ is responsible for collecting and storing bile—a liquid that helps break down food. While the gallbladder typically performs its function without a hitch, its ducts can become blocked, preventing the proper flow of bile. When this happens, the gallbladder can become inflamed and infected. If this chain of events occurs, your health provider may recommend gallbladder surgery.

At General and Vascular Surgery (GVS), we have a highly skilled General Surgery team that specializes in gallbladder surgery. Our board-certified surgeons are experts in their field, here to help you navigate every aspect of surgery and recovery.

Take a look at some of our frequently asked questions when it comes to gallbladder surgery.

Can I Have Gallstone Removal Without Surgery?

Gallstones are small, hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. While some gallstones can “pass” on their own, if they block the gallbladder duct and cause any of the following symptoms, surgery will likely be needed:

  • Sudden and intense pain in the upper right abdomen.
  • Sudden and intense pain in the center of the abdomen (below the breastbone).
  • Pain in the right shoulder or between the shoulder blades.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.

If you experience yellowing of the skin (jaundice), fever, or intense abdominal pain, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. These indicate serious symptoms that—left untreated—can lead to more serious health problems.

How Long Does Gallbladder Surgery Take?

The most common gallbladder surgery types are “open” or “laparoscopic.” A laparoscopic cholecystectomy typically involves three to four small incisions (compared to a traditional open cholecystectomy that requires five to seven) and only takes an hour or two to perform. Many times, patients are able to go home the same day following laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.

What Can I Expect for Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Time?

Typically, patients are able to resume normal activity within one week.

Are There Any Gallbladder Removal Side Effects?

While most surgeries come with some risk of complication, gallbladder removal surgery has very few side effects. And, pain following surgery usually subsides between 24 and 48 hours.

At GVS, we take pride in helping provide education and resources for our patients. To learn more about gallbladder surgery, set up a consultation. Or, call us any time with questions at 574-236-1888.

611 E. Douglas Rd, Suite 308
Mishawaka, IN 46545
South Bend
University Medical Plaza
6301 University Commons, Suite 340
South Bend, IN 46635
500 Arcade Ave., Suite 320
Elkhart, IN 46514