The gallbladder is a small sac located underneath the liver. The gallbladder serves to store and concentrate bile. Bile is a yellowishgreen fluid secreted by the liver and contains bile acids which aid in fat digestion and absorption. Bile flows through the bile duct into the duodenum the first part of the small intestine. After filling the bile duct, it overflows into the gallbladder where it is stored for later use. After a highfat meal, the gallbladder contracts to pump bile into the duodenum. Gallstones are hard masses formed in the gallbladder.
Gallstones may cause obstruction of the cystic duct and excruciating pain when the gallbladder contracts. This usually happens after a fatty meal and is commonly referred to as gallbladder attack. Blockage of the cystic duct is a common complication caused by gallstones. Other less common but more serious problems occur when gallstones become lodged down the path of the biliary tree. When gallstones block the common bile duct, they prevent bile from reaching the intestine. This causes jaundice, poor fat digestion and subsequently leads to infection of the bile duct or cholangitis. Gallstones may also obstruct the pancreatic.
Duct, forcing pancreatic enzymes to back up in the pancreas. This damages the pancreatic tissue and triggers inflammatory response. This condition is known as acute pancreatitis or sudden inflammation of the pancreas. The most common treatment for gallstones is the surgical removal of the gallbladder or cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is currently the standard procedure for gallbladder removal. This minimally invasive procedure requires only several small incisions in the abdomen and thus results in less pain and quicker recovery. The cystic duct and cystic artery are clipped with tiny titanium clips and cut. The gallbladder is then dissected and removed through one of the incision.
Gallstones and Surgical Removal of Gallbladder Cholecystectomy Animation.