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Gallbladder
Surgery & Treatments

Not everyone experiences symptoms from gallstones, but for some, the pain can be unbearable and benefit from gallbladder surgery.

If you think you’re experiencing gallbladder pain, please take the necessary precautions. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff at Tahir Surgical Clinic is here to assist.

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Gallstones are the
leading cause of
gallbladder cancer.

Most patients who are diagnosed with gallbladder disease of any kind typically end up in the ER, requiring emergency surgery because their symptoms are so severe.

Patients tend to suffer from symptoms such as flatulence, burping, indigestion, and bloating for a long period of time before they are diagnosed with gallstones.

Testing is available to diagnose early dysfunction of the gallbladder and prevents years of suffering.

Don’t Hesitate to Call Us

Consulting Dr. Tahir about your symptoms while they are less severe, will help alleviate any stress or uncertainty.

Diagnosing Gallbladder Symptoms

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), gallstones are very common.

Gallstones affect 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population, which is almost 25 million people.

Below are some of the most common scenarios for individuals experiencing gallbladder symptoms and how they find Tahir Surgical Clinic for treatment.

Doctor Referral

Patients typically call our office after they’ve seen their primary care physician for experiencing abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Their doctor orders testing, such as abdominal ultrasound and/or CT scan of the abdomen, to check for gallstones. If testing shows cholelithiasis, gallstones, gallbladder polyps, choledocholithiasis, acute or chronic cholecystitis, or any other disease of the gallbladder, that’s when Tahir Surgical Clinic comes in to discuss treatment with you. Many of our patients come from doctor referrals.

ER Referral

Sometimes patients go straight to the emergency room experiencing significant abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. If they are found to have gallstones or even gallbladder polyps but are NOT experiencing acute cholecystitis then the ER will discharge the patient home with advice to seek a general surgeon outpatient — that’s Dr. Tahir!

Contact Us Directly

If you’re experiencing any combination of the following symptoms abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, heartburn, bloating, or abdominal distension. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tahir for an initial consultation and depending on your symptoms we’ll schedule the appropriate testing.

For abdominal pain and vomiting, we would order an ultrasound and abdominal CT. For patients experiencing symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, bloating and fullness, we would schedule a HIDA scan.

HIDA scans will show if you have another diagnosis of the gallbladder called “biliary dyskinesia” or low functioning of the gallbladder. Patients with low functioning gallbladder may not have severe abdominal pain like those with cholelithiasis (gallstones) but they do experience nausea, bloating, heartburn, fullness, and lots of belching.

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Meet Dr. Tahir

Dr. Tahir is an American Board of Surgery Certified Surgeon in Gilbert, AZ with over 40 years of experience treating patients with gallbladder pain and a wide range of conditions.

Insurance Flexibility

At Tahir Surgical Clinic, we accept most insurance providers, including most PPO, HMO, and AHCCCS plans. Self-pay options are also available.

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In the event you don’t have insurance or treatment is not covered under your current provider, Dr. Tahir doesn’t turn away patients. We’ll work with you to find a solution and get you the help you need!

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Gallbladder Treatment FAQs

Understanding Your Gallbladder

Where is the gallbladder located?

Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver.

What does the gallbladder do?

The gallbladder is a small, pouch-like organ in the upper right part of your tummy. It stores bile, a fluid produced by the liver that helps break down fatty foods. You don’t need a gallbladder, so surgery to take it out is often recommended if you develop any problems with it.

What does gallbladder pain feel like?

A gallbladder attack usually causes a sudden gnawing pain that gets worse. You may feel it in the upper right or center of your belly, in your back between your shoulder blades, or in your right shoulder. You might also vomit or have nausea. The pain usually lasts 20 minutes to an hour.

Can you live without a gallbladder?

You can lead a perfectly normal life without a gallbladder. Your liver will still make enough bile to digest your food, but instead of being stored in the gallbladder, it drips continuously into your digestive system.

Gallbladder Symptoms & Treatment

What gallbladder symptoms should I be looking out for?

Symptoms to watch out for that may indicate an issue with gallstones or your gallbladder include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain (typically in the RUQ), abdominal pain that radiates to the right side of the upper mid-back, bloating, abdominal distension, heartburn, jaundice (yellow in the eyes), diarrhea, and fever.

Please call us if you have any questions. If your pain is severe, and you think it’s an emergency, please visit your local emergency room.

How do I know I need surgery for my gallbladder pain?

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a common minimally invasive procedure to remove the gallbladder. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy with cholangiograms* (LCC) would be recommended for any patient who is diagnosed with the following:

  • Gallstones* (cholelithiasis)
  • Gallbladder sludge
  • Gallbladder polyps
  • Acute Cholecystitis (emergent)
  • Chronic Cholecystitis
  • Biliary Dyskinesia
  • Neoplasm of the gallbladder (less common)
  • Gangrenous gallbladder (less common)

*Gallstones are the number one cause of gallbladder cancer
*A cholangiogram is an X-ray of the bile ducts to be sure there are no stones lodged within the bile ducts. This is called choledocholithiasis.

What if I’m not a candidate for gallbladder surgery?

Depending on your condition, other treatments include a change of diet or monitoring of symptoms if currently asymptomatic.

Does Dr. Tahir perform gallbladder surgery at his office?

There are no in-office procedures that Dr. Tahir performs for treatment of the gallbladder.

Dr. Tahir performs LLC surgery in an operating room (OR) because of the nature of this type of surgery. He’ll always perform a cholangiogram as part of LLC surgery, which is an X-ray of the bile ducts. This is to ensure there are no stones lodged within the bile ducts. If there are, it’s called choledocholithiasis.

What other conditions could result in gallbladder removal surgery?

Other conditions that could make you a candidate for gallbladder removal include:

  • Biliary dyskinesia – This occurs when the gallbladder doesn’t empty bile correctly due to a defect in its motion.
  • Choledocholithiasis – This happens when gallstones have moved to the common bile duct where they may be stuck, causing a blockage that doesn’t allow the gallbladder or rest of the biliary tree to drain.
  • Cholecystitis – This is inflammation of the gallbladder.
  • Pancreatitis – This is inflammation of the pancreas.

Cost – Gallbladder Surgery

How much does gallbladder treatment cost?

At Tahir Surgical Clinic, we’re transparent about pricing. If treatment is not covered under your insurance, we’ll get the best cash-pay rate available through our contracted facilities.

For insured patients, we’ll provide a breakdown of what’s covered under your health insurance. Including any out-of-pocket expenses so you know what to expect before proceeding with surgery.

Who do I pay for the surgery?

Dr. Tahir is affiliated with several facilities, but he is a separate entity, in addition to the anesthesiologist. The facility fee is separate from the professional fee and they are not collected together.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call us.

Recovery Process for Gallbladder Surgery

What is the recovery process like after gallbladder surgery?

The recovery period if done laparoscopically (most common) is typically 7-10 days. Patients may stay one night in the hospital but can usually go home the same day.

Patients are advised to start a regular diet as tolerated. Some patients may experience nausea or diarrhea with some foods, as the body is adjusting, but this usually passes within 6-9 weeks after surgery. Patients are asked to walk within hours after surgery to allow any gases used during surgery to pass in addition to getting their vascular system moving. Patients are not typically bed-bound nor do we recommend patients lying in bed longer than a few hours at a time, other than nighttime sleep.

Patients are asked not to lift anything heavier than 5-10 pounds, in order to give the abdomen adequate time for recovery. Incisions are 5-10mm in most cases and showering in 48 hours is advised. Patients are discharged home from the hospital with waterproof dressings, and we advise them to keep them in place until their follow-up appointment.

Patients are seen around 10 days post-surgery and are usually discharged with little to no restrictions at that time. Pathology from the surgery is discussed with the patient at this time and bandages are removed.

Any questions regarding diet or return to work are also discussed.

When can I return to work after gallbladder surgery?

Usually, 7-10 days are advised to stay home from work. We understand that some patients may work from home or have a desk job, in this case, if patients are feeling well then they are allowed to return to work as soon as 4 days after surgery.

Patients who have labor-type work that requires them to stand for long hours and use their abdomen more frequently may need more time for recovery or intermittent leave. All situations are different and we work with each of our patient’s individual needs.

What are the diet restrictions after gallbladder surgery?

There’s no standard diet that people should follow after gallbladder removal surgery. In general, it’s best to avoid fatty, greasy, processed, and sugary foods for the first few weeks after surgery.

Why Choose Tahir Surgical Clinic?

We offer quality treatment at a reasonable price. It sounds simple (and it is!) but our staff also works extremely hard to maintain a comfortable setting for our patients.

Learn more about what sets Tahir Surgical Clinic apart from the rest!

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