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Patient Education: Robotic Cholecystectomy

  • Category: Hinojosa Patient Education Content

About this Video

William Hinojosa (DO) demonstrates a robotic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). WARNING: Video contains footage of actual surgery.

Understanding Gallbladder Disease: A Comprehensive Guide
Welcome to our educational guide on gallbladder disease. This page is dedicated to providing
you with detailed information about gallbladder disorders, their symptoms, diagnosis, and
treatment options. Our goal is to empower you with knowledge so you can make informed
decisions about your healthcare in collaboration with our surgical team.

What is Gallbladder Disease?
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver. Its primary function is
to store bile, a substance produced by the liver that helps in the digestion of fats. Gallbladder
disease encompasses a range of conditions that affect the gallbladder, the most common being
gallstones, cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), and gallbladder cancer.

Types of Gallbladder Disease

  • Gallstones (Cholelithiasis): Small stones, usually made of cholesterol, that form in the gallbladder. They can block the flow of bile, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder, often due to gallstones blocking the ducts leading out of the gallbladder.
  • Gallbladder Cancer: Although rare, cancer can develop in the gallbladder. It is often discovered at a late stage because it does not cause symptoms in the early stages.
  • Biliary Dyskinesia: A condition with abnormal movement of the bile ducts, leading to pain and discomfort.

Symptoms of gallbladder disease can vary depending on the condition but often include:

  • Pain in the upper right abdomen that may radiate to the back or shoulder blade. This pain can be sharp and may worsen after eating a fatty meal.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or chills (indicating an infection)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Dark urine and light-colored stools

Diagnosis of gallbladder disease typically involves a combination of physical examinations,
symptom review, and diagnostic tests, such as:

  • Ultrasound: The most common and effective method to detect gallstones.
  • CT Scan: Provides detailed images of the gallbladder and surrounding structures.
  • MRCP (Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography): A special type of MRI that focuses on the bile ducts, pancreas, and gallbladder.
  • HIDA Scan (Hepatobiliary Iminodiacetic Acid Scan): Assesses how well the gallbladder functions.

Treatment Options
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the gallbladder disease:

  • Surgical Removal (Cholecystectomy): The most common treatment for symptomatic gallstones and cholecystitis. It can be performed laparoscopically (minimally invasive) or through open surgery.
  • Diet Modification: In some cases, adjustment of your diet to avoid foods that trigger your pain can reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
  • Endoscopic Procedures: For certain conditions, such as removing stones from the bile duct, endoscopic techniques may be used.

Recovery varies by the type of treatment. Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery typically allows for a
quicker recovery, often with patients returning to normal activities within a week. Open surgery
may require a longer recovery period.

Prevention and Lifestyle Changes
While not all gallbladder diseases can be prevented, certain lifestyle changes can reduce the

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity increases the risk of gallstones.
  • Dietary adjustments: A diet high in fiber and low in cholesterol and fat can help.
  • Regular exercise: Helps maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of gallstones.


Gallbladder disease can significantly impact your health and quality of life. If you experience any
symptoms of gallbladder disease, it’s important to seek medical attention. Our team is dedicated
to providing personalized care, from diagnosis through recovery, ensuring you receive the
treatment that best fits your needs.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office. We’re here to help
you on your path to recovery.