Can My Gallbladder Be Removed with Robot-Assisted Surgery?

Your gallbladder is one of those organs you function better with if it’s in good health, and better without when it’s not. Gallstones, chronic infections, and even cancer can mean your gallbladder and you need to part ways.

At Texas Surgical Care in Kingwood, Texas, Dr. Ronald Ambe can advise you if you need gallbladder surgery, and potentially remove your gallbladder using a robotic-assisted surgical system for a minimally invasive procedure.

What the gallbladder does

The gallbladder’s function is to produce bile, which enters your small intestine and helps break down fats, driving the early stages of the digestion process. Common gallbladder diseases include:

  • Crystallizing bile, which causes gallstones
  • Failure to empty correctly, known as biliary dyskinesia
  • Making too much or too little bile
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder (known as cholecystitis)
  • A blockage (biliary obstruction) inside gallbladder
  • Cancer of the gallbladder

Signs of a gallbladder problem can start off slowly and worsen over time. You may feel uncomfortable after eating and/or have abdominal sensitivity or cramping, or you may experience sudden, severe pain in your abdomen accompanied by a fever (this means you need to go to the ER right away).

When your doctor may recommend surgery

If you just have mild gallbladder symptoms, lifestyle and diet changes and medications can often help resolve the issue and restore everything to working order. Just cutting down on the amount of fat you eat can take the strain off an overworked gallbladder and help you feel better.

If your gallbladder issues are serious, Dr. Ambe will talk to you about the possible need for a gallbladder removal or cholecystectomy. He looks for symptoms like fever and chills (signs of infection); yellow eyes and skin (jaundice); constant, severe abdominal pain; and ongoing digestive issues like nausea and bloating, especially after eating.

The da Vinci® system

For extra precision and minimal invasiveness, Dr. Ambe may use the da Vinci surgical system to perform your gallbladder surgery. He controls the system’s robotic arms and performs your surgery quickly and smoothly through tiny incisions using miniature surgical tools.

The benefit of the da Vinci system is that every moment can be controlled with the utmost precision, and there’s minimal trauma to surrounding tissues. This means the surgery takes less time, and you can recover much faster afterward.

Are you a good candidate for da Vinci gallbladder surgery?

This depends on the type of gallbladder issue you have, its severity, and how much inflammation and infection is present. If your case is straightforward, Dr. Ambe may choose the da Vinci method, the laparoscopic method (using a tiny camera and tools through a small surgical incision, but without robotics assistance), or open gallbladder surgery.

Open gallbladder surgery is the most invasive, and is usually reserved for patients in gallbladder crisis, or patients who are obese, because in such cases Dr. Ambe needs a complete field of vision into the surgical area.

Are you suffering from gallbladder issues? Robot-assisted surgery may be an option. Get in touch with Dr. Ambe by calling 832-280-8691, or request an appointment online.

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