When gallstones block the ducts in your gallbladder, it can lead to serious pain and possible infection. While many people have gallstones, they can become dangerous if they begin causing symptoms.
Surgery is necessary when signs of problematic gallstones start appearing, and having a specialist address your issue can make this process as safe and comfortable as possible. At New Life Medical in Bakersfield, California, Dr. Nirav Naik is one of the few surgeons who can provide a minimally-invasive, robotically-assisted cholecystectomy.
What are gallstones?
Bile is stored in the gallbladder, which is located in your abdomen on the upper right side. Small deposits of cholesterol and calcium can form inside the gallbladder, resulting in gallstones. They can appear like small pebbles or large stones.
Women, Native or Mexican-Americans, and obese people are more likely to develop gallstones. High cholesterol diets and sedentary lifestyles can also encourage gallstone production, and family history or certain medical conditions can make you prone to them.
Approximately 80% of people with gallstones don't experience issues regarding them. These cases often go unnoticed and don't require treatment. However, when symptoms begin appearing, it's vital that surgical action is taken. If a gallstone becomes lodged in the bile duct, it can become a medical emergency.
Symptoms of gallstones
People with gallstones usually report symptoms that affect their digestive tract, including:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Radiating pain from the upper abdomen
- Bloating and/or gassiness
- Feeling full after small meals
Eating meals that are rich in fat, such as fried foods, can exacerbate these symptoms. Jaundice can also occur in people with gallstones, leading to a yellow pigment in their skin and eyes.
When symptoms of gallstones occur, they should be taken seriously. A gallbladder specialist should be contacted, and steps should be taken to remove the stones.
Choosing a doctor for gallstone surgery
Gallstones can be detected and diagnosed using blood tests, ultrasounds, and ECRPs. From there, a cholecystectomy can be scheduled to remove the gallbladder. It's important to choose an experienced doctor who can minimize the risk of this procedure and perform it confidently.
Dr. Naik is trained in gallbladder surgery, particularly a minimally-invasive method known as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This method uses a laparoscope, a tube-like tool containing a light and camera. The use of a laparoscope reduces the need for a large incision, and it can be inserted through the belly button.
If you're suffering from gallstone symptoms, New Life Medical can help you get the surgery and aftercare you need. Using the specialized laparoscopic technique, you can be on the road to recovery sooner. Contact us at 661-230-8306, or use our online booking tool for easy scheduling.