Gallbladder Surgery

Philip L. Leggett, MD -  - General Surgery

Philip L. Leggett, MD

General Surgery & Acid Reflux Treatment located in Houston, TX

When you have gallbladder disease, it can cause significant symptoms and serious complications that include gangrene and systemic infection. Serving the Houston area, Philip L. Leggett, MD, and Seeyuen Lee, MD, offer minimally invasive and open gallbladder surgery options for treatment of your gallstones or infectious gallbladder. For a consultation, call the office today or schedule an appointment online.

Gallbladder Surgery Q & A

What is the gallbladder?

The gallbladder is part of the digestive system. It’s located under the liver and is responsible for storing bile between meals. Bile is produced in the liver and is an essential part of effective digestion because it helps to break down fats in the foods you eat.

If your gallbladder needs to be removed to treat gallbladder disease, bile is no longer stored between meals but is delivered directly to the small intestine from the liver. For this reason, healthy digestion is still possible, even without the gallbladder.

What is gallbladder disease?

Gallbladder disease refers to several conditions that affect the gallbladder, including:


A condition commonly referred to as gallstones, which is the result of bile crystallizing in your gallbladder.


An infectious condition of your gallbladder, which may result from gallstones and develop into an abscess, gangrene, or systemic infection.

Gallbladder pancreatitis

A condition where gallstones block the duct that drains the pancreas, which causes inflammation, pain, and poor digestion.

Other types of gallbladder disease include tumors, congenital defects, bile duct obstruction, abnormal tissue growth, and scarring and hardening of the gallbladder.

What are the symptoms of gallbladder disease?

Symptoms of gallbladder disease often vary in severity and may come and go. You may experience gallbladder disease symptoms after you eat a fatty meal.

The most common symptom of gallbladder disease is a pain in the right upper part of the abdomen, near or under the ribcage. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain that radiates to back, breastbone, or chest
  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gas
  • Fever
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Jaundice, or yellow-colored skin

The team diagnoses your gallbladder disease using your health history, physical assessment, and diagnostic testing, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), or X-ray.

What are the treatment options for gallbladder disease?

Depending on your type of gallbladder disease, yoursurgeon may recommend treatments that include dietary changes, medications, and gallbladder surgery.

Gallbladder surgery involves completely removing the gallbladder laparoscopically. Using long, thin instruments, a camera, and a light placed into tiny holes in your abdomen, your surgeon removes the gallbladder and reroutes your bile duct from the liver to the small intestine. Because this approach to gallbladder surgery doesn’t require large incisions, your recovery should be quicker and risk for infection and post-surgery complications lower than with open surgery.

For a consultation regarding issues with your gallbladder, call the office of Philip L. Leggett, MD, today or schedule your appointment online.

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