Gallbladder Specialist

Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia

Bariatric & General Surgery located in Reston, VA

If you have severe abdominal pain on your right side or between your shoulder blades, it could be a sign of gallbladder disease. At the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia in Reston, Virginia, Brett Sachse, MD, Amanda Pysher, MD, Hiral Patel, MD, and Ranjit Pullarkat, MD, provide expert diagnosis and treatment for gallbladder disease, including minimally invasive surgical procedures. If you’re looking for an expert surgeon, call the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia or book an appointment online today.

Gallbladder Q & A

What does the gallbladder do?

Your gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that rests under your liver. It stores bile, one of the substances your body uses to digest food. 

Your liver creates bile, and your gallbladder holds it until your body signals that it’s digesting food. Then, your gallbladder sends the bile through small ducts into your small intestine, where it breaks down fat. 

Your gallbladder is vulnerable to a variety of health issues, including cholecystitis (inflammation), gallstones, polyps, cancer, and reduced function. Gallbladder disease is a collective term for any problem with the gallbladder.

What are the signs of gallbladder disease?

Pain is one of the first indicators of gallbladder disease. Gallbladder pain occurs in the upper right of your abdomen, under your rib cage, or between your shoulder blades. You might also have symptoms, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive gas and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn and regurgitation

Many conditions can cause these symptoms, so it’s critical to schedule an appointment with a physician to identify the disease that’s causing your symptoms. Knowing the cause of your symptoms is the first step in creating a personalized treatment plan. 

How is gallbladder disease treated?

Treatment for gallbladder disease depends on your condition and the severity of your symptoms. For example, your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes or prescribe medication.

However, if noninvasive treatments don’t heal your condition and relieve your symptoms, you might need gallbladder removal surgery. Whenever possible, the team at the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia perform minimally invasive, robotically assisted surgery using the innovative da Vinci® robotic surgery system.

This minimally invasive approach allows them to access and extract your gallbladder through a single incision. 

What should I expect after gallbladder surgery?

Even when you have a minimally invasive procedure, gallbladder surgery is still a major abdominal operation. You might need to spend a couple of days recovering in the hospital. When you go home, your surgeon provides customized aftercare instructions. 

In general, you need to follow a gentle liquid diet for a few days and only gradually introduce solid food. You can usually return to work and non-strenuous activities within a week but listen to your body and your doctor’s advice. 

Your doctor will clear you for more strenuous activity or heavy lifting at one of your follow-up appointments. 

Call the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia or make an appointment online today if you’re looking for an expert surgeon to perform a gallbladder operation.