Gallstones and Cholecystitis

Gallbladder problems are common and they are usually caused by gallstones that are formed within the gallbladder. The gallstones cause intermittent upper abdominal pains after eating, especially after fatty, greasy meals.

Gallbladder diseases are usually diagnosed with an ultrasound or CT of the abdomen. If left untreated, the gallstones can clog up the gallbladder and cause a serious infection called cholecystitis, which often needs hospitalization and a possible operation to prevent further complications.

However, most gallstones and/or gallbladder problems can be treated with an elective outpatient procedure for removing the gallbladder called a cholecystectomy. This is usually performed using a laparoscopic technique which uses tiny abdominal incisions each about one quarter of an inch in length.