Expert Care for Gallstones
Each year, approximately one million Americans develop gallstones. More than half never experience any troubling symptoms, and their gallstones generally don't have to be removed. That leaves hundreds of thousands of people in need of help. If you're troubled by gallstones, talk to your doctor about your options.
- Intense, dull pain in the right or center upper abdomen. The pain can radiate to the back.
- The pain is often triggered by meals.
- The pain usually resolves between 30 minutes and a few hours after beginning.
- Nausea or vomiting and bloating.
Like your appendix, individuals who have their gallbladder removed experience no long-term ramifications. To get rid of gallstones, American surgeons remove approximately 700,000 gallbladders every year—a surgery doctors call a cholecystectomy.
“In addition to being very effective, a cholecystectomy is generally safe, and recovery is typically quick,” said Christopher Quijano, DO, General Surgeon with Advanced Surgical Associates.
Almost all cholecystectomies are performed with a special technique called laparoscopy. The surgeon inserts thin surgical instruments and tiny video cameras through very small incisions in the abdomen. Most patients leave the hospital the same day and return to work within a week.
Quijano sees patients at all three Cottage Health campuses including Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. For a list of other surgical procedures at Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, visit cottagehealth.org/sysurgery.