The gallbladder is responsible for storing bile, the fat-digesting liquid produced by the liver. Over time, gallstones can form from the crystallization of bile components. Most people never have symptoms caused by the stones, until the onset of excruciating pain caused by a gallstone attack (biliary colic). Once symptoms develop, the only viable treatment is to completely remove the gallbladder. This surgery is called a cholecystectomy. Dr. Gagner performs cholecystectomies by laparoscopy. A cholangiography (with a dye in the bile duct) is performed at the time of surgery to ensure that the bile duct is free of stones. The surgery is an out-patient procedure, with patients leaving the clinic the same day of the procedure. Patients need a minimum of 1 week of convalescence to recover from the surgery.
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