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What is your gallbladder?

Your gallbladder sits under your liver and stores the bile that your liver produces when you are not eating. Once you eat, your gallbladder releases the bile to help you digest fat.

In some individuals, the bile can crystallize and form gallstones. Often, gallstones are harmless and cause no symptoms. In the event your gallstones cause you pain, it may be necessary to remove your gallbladder.

Even though your gallbladder can help with digestion, it is a nonessential organ, and therefore safe to remove.

Gallbladder Symptoms

Gallbladder symptoms can cause you a great deal of pain and discomfort if left untreated. Symptoms of gallstones include:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the upper, right side of your abdomen
  • Back pain between your shoulder blades, or pain in your right shoulder
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

Your pain may come and go, but it’s important to keep in mind that gallstones don’t resolve on their own. When left untreated, you can develop an infection or pancreatitis.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment because surgery may be necessary.

What to expect from gallbladder removal

Dr. Timms performs laparoscopic gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy), which is a minimally invasive way to remove your gallbladder.

With this procedure, you can expect to go home the same day and recover fully in 4-6 weeks.