Recognizing the Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease

You may have heard of the gallbladder before. But do you know what this small, pear-shaped organ does and the role it plays in your digestion? 

As an experienced surgeon at LoneStar Bariatrics specializing in bariatric procedures, Dr. Chad Carlton can help recognize gallbladder disease and offer treatment solutions to help relieve your symptoms. Here’s what you should know about your gallbladder, how to identify problems, and the steps you can take to reduce your risk of long-term issues.

Your gallbladder at work

People usually don’t talk about their gallbladder until there is a problem. You can find this small organ below your liver on the upper right side of your abdomen. Your gallbladder doesn’t have a very glamorous job; it’s responsible for storing a product known as bile. 

Bile is a fluid made in your liver that helps support digestion by breaking down fat in the food you consume. When you’re not eating, this fluid moves into your gallbladder for storage. If you’re digesting food, your gallbladder releases bile through a small duct. Your bile duct connects your liver and gallbladder to your small intestine.

When you have medical problems associated with your gallbladder, it’s known as gallbladder disease. These issues include a variety of conditions, from infections, inflammation, and blockages to polyps, stones, or cancer. 

Signs of gallbladder disease

You can experience a variety of gallbladder symptoms, depending on your specific condition. Common signs of gallbladder problems include:

Depending on the cause of your gallbladder issues, Dr. Carlton might recommend a variety of treatment strategies to resolve your symptoms, ranging from weight loss to surgery.

Weight loss and gallbladder disease

You can develop gallbladder disease for a variety of reasons, but it’s especially common in men and women carrying excess weight. 

If you have weight-related gallbladder disease, Dr. Carlton can help with effective weight-loss solutions that provide maximum results for a lifetime. These options range from nutritional counseling with trained dietitian Allison Rezentes, RD, to medical weight-loss management plans involving safe and effective medications. 

For more significant weight loss, Dr. Carlton might recommend bariatric surgery that provides rapid results by changing the amount of food you eat and modifying how your body absorbs its nutrients.

Gallbladder surgery

If you have significant gallbladder issues causing chronic problems, considerable pain, or other uncomfortable side effects, Dr. Carlton might recommend surgically removing it. When you have your gallbladder removed, your digestion remains the same, but your body can no longer store bile. 

Approximately 500,000 Americans undergo gallbladder surgery each year. At LoneStar Bariatrics, Dr. Carlton uses minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible. This approach relies on smaller incisions, which comes with fewer complications, faster recovery times, and you can usually go home the same day.

Don’t wait for your gallbladder symptoms to worsen. Contact us to learn more about your treatment options by booking an appointment online or calling our office in either Frisco or Richardson, Texas.

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