Approximately 20 million people in the United States have gallstones, and 20% of these cases develop ongoing problems with symptomatic gallstones. While not everyone with gallstones requires surgical removal of their gallbladder, this solution is the only acceptable definitive treatment for gallbladder disease.
At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, under the expert direction of Drs. Dexter Turnquest and Brandon Fadner, our team offers a wide range of services to our patients in the Houston area. From bariatric surgery to gallbladder removal, our goal is to perform each surgery using the most advanced techniques available, including laparoscopy.
Here’s a look at why laparoscopic surgery may be the best method for remedying your symptomatic gallstones.
When surgery is the best solution for gallstones
As we mentioned, millions of adults in the US have gallstones, which are hardened deposits that form in your gallbladder, the small organ that stores the bile that’s produced by the liver. The majority of these stones are composed of cholesterol, or sometimes a pigment called bilirubin, and they can range in size from a grain of sand to the size of a ping pong ball.
While smaller gallstones are less likely to cause problems, the number and location of your gallstones also play a role, especially if they get lodged in your bile duct. The complications that stem from problematic gallstones can be serious and very painful, including:
- Acute cholecystitis
- Inflammation of your gallbladder
If you develop complications because of gallstones, the best way to remedy the problem is to have us remove your gallbladder. While removing an organ may sound like a major step, the fact is that you can function perfectly normally without your gallbladder as your body will release the bile directly into your small intestine without storing it in your gallbladder first.
Taking a less-invasive approach
Traditionally, gallbladder removal was done using open surgery, which allowed the surgeon both visual and manual access to your gallbladder. But with modern surgical techniques using laparoscopic equipment, this surgery is far less invasive.
To start, we only need to make three very small incisions, through which we thread a camera and a light that provide us with a real-time, 3D view of the organ and the surgical site. Using the other incisions, we insert specialized tools that translate the movements of our hands in incredibly small spaces.
There are many advantages to this type of surgery, including:
- Less risk of infection
- Less collateral tissue damage
- Minimal scarring
- Reduced bleeding
All of these benefits add up to a shorter recovery time, which means you can get on with your life more quickly.
Barring any extenuating circumstances, you can return home on the same day of your surgery, and we supply you with a complete list of postop instructions. You should plan on taking it easy for a week, after which time you can resume your normal activities, such as work.
If you have symptomatic gallstones and you’d like to learn more about minimally invasive gallbladder surgery, please contact us at one of our two Houston locations. Just reach out by phone or use our online scheduler.