Gallbladder Surgery

Michael Todd Wood, MD, FACS

Board Certified General Surgeon located in Houston, TX & Sugar Land, TX

You may not give your gallbladder a second thought until you experience the pain this small pear-shaped organ can cause when something goes wrong. Michael Todd Wood, MD, is a board-certified surgeon who is an expert at performing gallbladder surgery. He specializes in minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures that generally get you on your feet faster with less pain than traditional “open” surgery. Dr. Wood has two locations in Sugar Land, Texas, and another in Houston for your convenience. Call the office of your choice today or book your visit online.

Gallbladder Surgery Q & A

Why would I need gallbladder surgery?

The gallbladder is a small organ that lies just below your liver in your upper right abdominal area. It collects and stores bile produced by the liver to aid in digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine.

Gallstones are the most common reason for gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy). These stones can contain cholesterol, bilirubin, mineral salts, and other substances that can clump together and form one or many hard deposits (stones) within the gallbladder.

Gallstones can cause significant inflammation and swelling of the gallbladder and often result in extreme pain as they grow in number or size. Gallstones may also become lodged in the bile ducts, tiny tubes that carry bile from the liver or gallbladder to your small intestine. This can result in significant pain and infection.

How do I know if I need gallbladder surgery?

Many people have gallstones without ever developing symptoms. In that case, you may never need treatment or can hold off on surgery until you experience symptoms.

Symptoms that may cause Dr. Wood to recommend removal of your gallbladder include:

  • Sudden, intense, and recurring pain in the upper right abdomen or center of your abdomen below the breastbone
  • Back pain between your shoulder blades that may be severe and can occur along with or without abdominal pain
  • Pain in the right shoulder
  • Nausea, vomiting, fever, chills

These symptoms may last for a few minutes or go on for several hours and then return within hours or days.

What is it like to have gallbladder surgery?

Dr. Wood typically uses the laparoscopic approach for gallbladder removal. This is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only a few very small incisions rather than the large open incision used for traditional surgery.

During a laparoscopic procedure, Dr. Wood views the inner surgical site and performs the surgery via a camera and instruments inserted through these small incisions. The gallbladder is removed through one of the incisions. Bleeding, risk of infection, and time required for healing are all reduced with laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Make an appointment with Dr. Wood today for expert surgical treatment, including minimally invasive gallbladder surgery. Call the office closest to you or schedule your consultation online.