People with gallbladder problems often have pain after eating certain types of food, such as fatty and fried foods, dairy products, and, sometimes, patient-specific foods. If you have a gallbladder disease that causes repeated episodes of abdominal pain, you might need surgery to remove the organ. Laureen Forgione-Rubino, M.D., F.A.C.S., and the team in Manchester, Connecticut, perform minimally invasive surgery to treat gallbladder disease. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Forgione-Rubino, call the office or book online today.

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What is the gallbladder?

The gallbladder is part of your digestive system. It’s located in your upper abdominal area near your liver and small intestine. The primary job of your gallbladder is to store bile, a substance that helps you digest fat in the food you eat.

Bile is made in your liver and sent to your gallbladder for storage. When you eat fatty foods, the gallbladder delivers the bile through bile ducts to your small intestine to aid digestion.

What is gallbladder disease?

Gallbladder disease includes various conditions that affect the structure or function of the gallbladder. Types of gallbladder diseases include:

  • Cholecystitis — inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Gallstones
  • Congenital defects
  • Abscess
  • Tumors
  • Sclerosing cholangitis — problem with the bile ducts

You can also have a condition that affects the gallbladder’s ability to empty out bile. This is called chronic acalculous gallbladder disease.

What are the symptoms of gallbladder disease?

On-and-off upper abdominal pain is the most common symptom of gallbladder disease. The pain may vary from mild to severe, depending on the cause. You may notice that the pain worsens after eating foods high in fat.

If a gallstone blocks one of the bile ducts, you may notice changes in the color of your urine (darker in color) and stool (lighter in color). Blocked bile ducts may also cause jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes.

What is the treatment for gallbladder disease?

Surgery is the primary treatment for gallbladder disease. Controlling the fat you eat may help with the pain, but ultimately the gallbladder will need to be removed. Dr. Forgione-Rubino and the team are experts at performing gallbladder surgery and use advanced surgical techniques to minimize the size of the incisions and shorten your recovery time. This includes robotic-assisted  laparoscopic surgery.

The surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy. Once removed, your liver takes over the normal function of the gallbladder.

For most patients, Dr. Forgione-Rubino performs robot-assisted cholecystectomies. During this procedure, she uses advanced robotic technology and laparoscopic surgical tools to make a tiny incision in your abdomen and remove your gallbladder. This surgical technique provides her with greater precision and flexibility, which means better surgical outcomes.

To discuss treatment options for your gallbladder disease, call the office of Laureen Forgione-Rubino, M.D., F.A.C.S., or schedule an appointment online today.