The gall bladder is a small organ located beneath the liver that stores and secretes bile. When we eat, bile is added to the food as it passes along the gut. The gallbladder contracts and pushes bile out through the bile duct and into the gut. Bile breaks the fatty material of food into tiny fragments that can be more easily absorbed by the intestine.
What are Gallstones?
Gallstones develop inside the gallbladder. The risk of developing gallstones increases with age, weight, female gender and family history, but many people form stones without any known risk factors.
Gallstones may trigger an attack of cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder) or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas gland), with the following symptoms:
- Severe abdominal pain
Cholecystectomy is the operation to remove a troublesome gallbladder. This is now almost always done laparoscopically i.e. using keyhole surgery and a thin telescope-like instrument that provides interior views of the body. This is done using only 1 - 4 small cuts on the tummy. Most commonly the patient can go home the day after surgery and experiences far less pain than traditional open gallbladder surgery.
View Mr Tsavellas performing a Single-Incision (SILS) Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy:
View Mr Tsavellas on Meridian News explaining Single-Incision (SILS) Cholecystectomy: