Gallbladder Surgery in Brownsville, TX
Dr. Carlos A. Barba is a board certified general surgeon with offices in Brownsville and Harlingen, TX. Dr. Barba specializes in performing minimally invasive gallbladder surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System.
The da Vinci System allows Dr. Barba to make the smallest possible incisions to help reduce discomfort and promote faster recovery after your procedure. Using the latest technology in minimally invasive procedures means better results for our patients and a quicker recovery.
Learn about gallbladder surgery and call (956) 621-4981 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Barba today.
What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under the liver. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile, a fluid made by your liver to digest fat. As the stomach and intestines digest food, the gallbladder releases bile through a small tube called the common bile duct. This duct connects the gallbladder and liver to the small intestine.
Common Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
The most common signs and symptoms of gallbladder disease are:
- Abdominal Pain - Typically located in the upper right abdomen and may feel like stomach cramps
- Right sided shoulder pain
- Low grade fever
- Nausea and bloating - This can be worse with diets that are high in fat.
Gallbladder symptoms can be similar to those of indigestion or stomach upset and are commonly mistaken as such.
Why Would I Need Gallbladder Surgery?
The most common reason for gallbladder surgery is to remove gallstones. Gallbladder attacks are cause by gallstones and are a common reason for severe and sudden abdominal pain. The pain associated with gallbladder disease occurs when the gallstones block the ducts, stopping the natural flow of bile into the intestines. The pain may be felt as a spasm lasting minutes to hours (biliary colic), or as a constant pain signaling more serious inflammation (acute cholecystitis).
What to Expect During Your Procedure
A Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. During surgery, Dr. Barba will make very small incisions in the abdomen. A port is then inserted into one of the incisions, and the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas which gives Dr. Barba room to work inside the abdomen. A laparoscopic camera is then inserted through this port so Dr. Barba can see inside the abdomen. Surgical instruments are then placed into the small openings and used to remove the gallbladder. After the gallbladder is removed, the incision sites are closed with naturally dissolving stitches. In certain rare situations (variable anatomy, severe infection, patient safety), Dr. Barba may start with a laparoscopic technique and need to change to an open technique which requires a larger incision. The procedure typically takes about 1 hour.
Learn about gallbladder surgery and understand your options
Get back to what matters most
Your gallbladder is a small organ that stores bile, a digestive juice your liver produces to break down fat in food. After you eat, the gallbladder releases stored bile into your small intestine through narrow tubes called ducts. Gallbladders can become inflamed (called cholecystitis) and ducts can be blocked, often because of small hard masses called gallstones that form, producing symptoms that range from mild discomfort to intense pain.
Understanding your options
To reduce your risk of inflammation of the gallbladder and blockage of the ducts, your doctor may recommend making adjustments to your diet, such as reducing fat intake.1 Options for an inflamed gallbladder may include fasting, fluids through a vein in your arm, antibiotics, and pain medications.2
Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the gallstones, or even to remove your gallbladder.
Surgeons can perform gallbladder removal surgery, called a cholecystectomy, through open surgery, which requires a large incision in your abdomen, or a minimally invasive approach. Today most gallbladder surgeries are performed through minimally invasive surgery1 using a laparoscopic approach or robotic-assisted surgery, possibly with da Vinci® technology.
Doctors perform minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgeries through a few small incisions or a single small incision near the belly button. To remove the gallbladder with laparoscopic surgery, doctors use special long-handled tools while viewing magnified images from the laparoscope (camera) on a video screen.
How da Vinci works
Surgeons using da Vinci technology can remove your gallbladder through either a few small incisions (cuts) or through one small incision in your belly button using Single-Site® technology. During surgery, your surgeon sits at a console next to you and operates using tiny instruments.
A camera provides a high-definition, 3D magnified view inside your body. Every hand movement your surgeon makes is translated by the da Vinci system in real time to bend and rotate the instruments with precision.
It’s important to remember that Intuitive does not provide medical advice. After discussing all options with your doctor, only you and your doctor can determine whether surgery with da Vinci is appropriate for your situation. You should always ask your surgeon about his or her training, experience, and patient outcomes.
Why surgery with da Vinci?
Robotic-assisted surgery with a da Vinci system gives surgeons access to technology features that include:
- A high-definition 3D camera system with high magnification that provides immersive viewing of the gallbladder and surrounding area.
- Firefly® fluorescence imaging which offers visualization beyond the human eye by activating injected dye to light up and clearly show the gallbladder and surrounding structures, including the ducts.
- Da Vinci Single-Site® technology, which allows surgeons to make just one incision near the belly button, providing patients with nearly scarless results.
All surgery involves risk. You can read more about associated risks of cholecystectomy here.
Questions you can ask your doctor
- What medical options are available for my gallbladder pain?
- What happens if I don’t get surgery?
- What are the differences between open, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted surgery?
- Can you tell me about your training, experience, and patient outcomes with da Vinci?
- How will I feel after surgery?
More about general surgery with da Vinci
Robotic-assisted surgery with da Vinci technology is used in many different types of procedures by general surgeons.
1. Gallbladder Removal Surgery (Cholecystectomy) Patient Information from SAGES. SAGES. Web. 21 January 2019
2. Cholecystitis Diagnosis & Treatment. Mayo Clinic. Web. 21 January 2019
3. Gallbladder, Cholecystectomy, Open. StatPearls. Web. 14 January 2019
Disclosures and Important Safety Information
Risks associated with cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) include injury to the common bile duct (tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine), leaking bile, inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis), retained stones in the common bile duct.
Important Safety Information
Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci® surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options and associated risks in order to make an informed decision.
Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci surgery, up to and including death. Serious risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques which could result in a longer operative time and/or increased complications. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.intuitive.com/safety.
Individuals' outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics and/or surgeon experience.
Da Vinci Xi® System Precaution Statement
The demonstration of safety and effectiveness for the specific procedure(s) discussed in this material was based on evaluation of the device as a surgical tool and did not include evaluation of outcomes related to the treatment of cancer (overall survival, disease-free survival, local recurrence) or treatment of the patient’s underlying disease/condition. Device usage in all surgical procedures should be guided by the clinical judgment of an adequately trained surgeon.
Medical Advice and Locating a Doctor
Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Other options may be available and appropriate. Only a doctor can determine whether da Vinci surgery is appropriate for a patient’s situation. Patients and doctors should review all available information on both non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision.
Surgeons who perform surgery using the da Vinci system can be found using the Surgeon Locator. Intuitive Surgical provides surgeons with training on the use of the da Vinci system but does not certify, credential or qualify the surgeons listed in the Surgeon Locator.
In order to provide benefit and risk information, Intuitive Surgical reviews the highest available level of evidence on procedures named above. Intuitive Surgical strives to provide a complete, fair and balanced view of the clinical literature. However, our materials should not be seen as a substitute for a comprehensive literature review for inclusion of all potential outcomes. We encourage patients and physicians to review the original publications and all available literature in order to make an informed decision. Clinical studies are typically available at pubmed.gov.