Beaufort Memorial’s Living Well Blog brings health and wellness to Lowcountry living.

How Does Gallbladder Surgery Work?

Posted by Surgical Services Team on Apr 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Gallbladder disease is one of the most common problems surgeons at Beaufort Memorial see and treat. Symptoms vary by condition, but often include sharp pain in the right abdomen especially after eating a fatty meal, heartburn, indigestion, gas, excessive diarrhea, nausea or abdominal tenderness. 

     Mansker, Deanna M.D.jpg
     Deanna Mansker, M.D.

Common problems can include:

  • Biliary colic
  • Chronic gallbladder disease
  • Gallstones
  • Inflamed or ruptured gallbladder

When gallbladder pain gets to be too much for a patient, surgeons have a few different ways to remove the organ.

One is an open cholecystectomy. This involves a long incision under the ribs through which the gallbladder is removed. It’s painful and leaves a large scar, which is why we rarely perform this procedure at Beaufort Memorial.

The laparoscopic cholecystectomy is much less invasive and involves chopstick-like tools that allow surgeons to remove the gallbladder through a series of small incisions. This is a much more common procedure that typically leaves the patient with five small scarsand much less pain than the open cholecystectomy. 

I prefer to perform single-site gallbladder surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System. With the robot, I can remove the gallbladder through a single one-inch incision in the navel. This leaves the patient with a much smaller scar than the open cholecystectomy and even less scarring than the laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The 3-D visuals of the robot make it easier for me to see important structures. This means a safer surgery for my patients.

Most patients go home the same day after a single-site gallbladder surgery and can return to their normal eating habits right away.

To learn more about having surgery at Beaufort Memorial, click here.

Dr. Deanna Mansker is a general surgeon at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. 

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