Get answers from Dr. jacob dowden
Q: I recently found out that I have gallstones. Does this mean I should have my gallbladder taken out?
A: Gallstones are made primarily of cholesterol, and they form within the gall bladder, which releases bile when we eat to help with digestion of fats. About 80 percent of people with gallstones never have any symptoms so it's not necessary to take out their gallbladders. But gallstones can cause abdominal pain that's felt underneath the right rib cage or the middle of the abdomen. The episodes are often felt after eating a meal, especially if it contains a lot of fat. Once someone has had one attack of symptoms from gallstones, there is a 50 percent chance they will have a second attack within the next 12 months. We can live without our gallbladders and the vast majority of surgeries to remove them are performed via a minimally-invasive approach, and patients can go home the same day of surgery.
Dr. Dowden is a General and Hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) Surgeon with University Surgical Associates.