Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under your liver. It stores bile, a fluid made by your liver that helps to digest fat. The gallbladder and several ducts (tubes) used to transport fluids, are called the biliary system. The following ducts are a part of this system:
- Hepatic bile ducts - carry bile out of the liver
- Cystic duct – takes bile from the liver to store in the gallbladder
- Common bile duct - takes bile from cystic and hepatic ducts to the small intestines
- Pancreatic duct - carries digestive enzymes out of the pancreas
As your stomach and intestines digest food, your gallbladder releases bile through the common bile duct. This duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestines. Specific types of gallbladder disease include:
- Gallstones: One or more hard, pebble-like substances that develop in the gallbladder. There are two types of stones. The most common is the cholesterol stone made mostly of hardened cholesterol. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The pigment gallstone is small, dark and made of waste products.
- Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder
- Chronic acalculous: The gallbladder does not empty properly
- Gangrene: Decay of gallbladder tissue or abscesses (collection of pus)
- Polyps: Growths of tissue in the gallbladder
- Sclerosing cholangitis: Swelling of the hepatic bile ducts attached to the liver
- Tumors: Abnormal growths on the gallbladder and bile ducts
All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci® Surgery and other minimally invasive procedures. Serious complications may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious or life-threatening complications which may require hospitalization include injury to tissues or organs, bleeding, infection or internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Risks of surgery also include potential for equipment failure and human error. Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: A long operation and time under anesthesia, conversion to another technique or the need for additional or larger incisions. If your surgeon needs to convert the procedure, it could mean a long operative time with additional time under anesthesia and increased complications. Temporary pain or discomfort may result from pneumoperitoneum, the presence of air or gas in the abdominal cavity used by surgeons in minimally invasive surgery. Research suggests that there could be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Patients who bleed easily, who have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery. Other options may be available. Patients should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci Surgery is right for them. We encourage patients and physicians to review all available information on surgical options and treatment in order to make an informed decision. Clinical studies are available through the National Library of Medicine at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety, and indications for use, please refer to www.davincisurgery.com.
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