Gallstones / Gallbladder Attack Symptoms & Treatment

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hi I'm James Harris I'm a drill surgeon

practicing at Johns Hopkins Howard

County General Hospital the gallbladder

is is essentially it stores bile

whenever you eat a fatty meal the

gallbladder will contract and give you a

little bit of bile into your system to

help break down the fats that you eat

and then helps them get absorbed the

liver makes bile and it secretes it down

into the common bile duct into your

intestines whenever you food but

whenever you're not eating and you need

bile to be stored in the gallbladder

that's where it goes and we get a little

bit of extra bile secreted into the

intestines whenever we eat a fatty meal

the gallbladder is not absolutely

necessary because the the gallbladder

only stores bile it does not make it so

what happens is when someone has their

gallbladder out the gulp the liver will

continue to to make bile and it will

just screed it directly into the ends of

the intestines and the common bile duct

ends up getting a little bit bigger over

time when you don't have a gallbladder

and it serves a function of the


well a gallbladder attack also called a

biliary colic or symptomatic coil with

Isis is essentially a feeling of pain in

the right upper quadrant or the

epigastric area which is kind of upper

abdomen and it results in pain right

after you eat a fatty meal what happens

is you have gall stones and a lot of

people have gall stones and they don't

really have problems with pain it's only

the select few who actually have these

symptoms of biliary colic and what

happens is these gall stones get caught

in the cystic duct which is the exit way

from the gall bladder into your common

bile duct and into the intestines and if

a gallstone gets stuck in there

periodically it causes these little

episodes of gallbladder pain or a

biliary colic sometimes it can be

confused with a heart attack because the

pain is in the upper abdomen lower chest

people can report to the emergency room

and say that they have pain in this area

and they often get ruled out for a heart

attack and then they subsequently find

that they have gallbladder problems so

people who require a gallbladder surgery

or cholecystectomy removal of the

gallbladder are those who have symptoms

because of their gall stones many people

have gall stones and they don't have

symptoms it's not until those gall

stones actually start causing problems

one of the big problems is biliary colic

this is where you're having symptoms of

pain after you eat usually fatty meals

this pain which is associated with the

gallbladder is resolved after a move of

the gallbladder another type of problem

is the gall bark actually get infected

because of these stones if one of those

stones gets trapped in the exit of the

gall bladder it's called a cystic duct

if you have entrapment of a stone in

there you can have a really bad

infection that could you know lead to a

lot of problems and make you very sick

and that could require removal of the

gallbladder as well

furthermore if one of those stones from

the gallbladder was to get trapped in

this in the common bile duct and before

it exits into your small intestine it

just happens to to overlap with the area

where your pancreas drains and if the

pancreas if it secretions are blocked

because of a gallstone it can actually

cause really bad pancreatitis and this

could be life-threatening so this is

another reason why some patients will

require to have their gallbladder

removed it may not even be directly

related to the gallbladder but because

of the gall stones that could actually

cause an infection of the pancreas the

surgery is performed laparoscopically

about 99% of the time the gallbladder if

it's not acutely inflamed meaning that

you don't have what's called

cholecystitis you usually could do it

quite safely with a minimally invasive

approach doing laparoscopic surgery even

if it's acutely inflamed we still can

take it out laparoscopically most of the

time we do it through four small

incisions the biggest one is usually

about the size of my thumbnail but

sometimes it needs to be a little bit

bigger if the gallbladder is very large

and full of large stones the other one

is about the size of an eraser head so

recovery after surgery is you know

fairly fairly well people tolerate the

surgery very well they often have a

surgery the same day and are just are

discharged the same day after surgery

and the recovery entails a pain

medication first couple days most people

don't need to be on pain medication for

more than a week because the incisions

are small and they do quite well they

could resume a normal diet immediately

after surgery