CHI Health Saint Elizabeth


Gallbladder Disease

The gallbladder, though a relatively small organ, is vital to healthy gastrointestinal function. This pear-shaped organ stores bile, a liquid created by your liver to aid in fat digestion. When functioning correctly, the gallbladder releases bile to the small intestine through a tube called the common bile duct.

Possible causes of gallbladder disease include:
• Cholecystitis (inflammation of gallbladder)
• Chronic acalculous gallbladder disease
• Congenital defects
• Gallstones
• Gangrene or abscesses
• Polyps (tissue growths) in the gallbladder
• Sclerosiing cholangitis (swelling of the bile ducts of the liver)
• Tumors of the gallbladder and bile ducts

Symptoms may include:
• A steady pain in the right upper abdomen that can last anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours
• Pain between the shoulder blades
• Pain under the right shoulder

Because most gallbladder diseases are related to blockages, symptoms can be similar. These symptoms are often referred to as “attacks” because of their sudden, sharp pain. These attacks regularly follow fatty meals or occur during the night.

Robotic Cholecystectomy
- is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If your doctor recommends surgery to treat gallbladder disease, ask if you are a candidate for minimally invasive robotic surgery. This procedure allows for surgical removal of the gallbladder through small incisions.

St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in Nebraska to perform a single-incision gallbladder removal using the latest technology available, the new Single-Site™ Instrumentation for the da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System. Learn more.