At Glacier Surgical Associates, Dr. Shannon Gulley is a Board Certified surgeon who specializes in laparoscopic procedures, including thyroid and gallbladder surgery. The doctor and her staff offer their services to residents who live in Palmer, Alaska and many of the surrounding communities.
Gallbladder disease is characterized by intense pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. The pain can be made worse by eating certain foods or moving in a certain way. When the condition has progressed to the point where inflammation and infection are present, the person may also experience diarrhea, vomiting, and physical swelling in the area where the gallbladder is located. Gallbladder disease may cause constant pain and discomfort or the pain may dissipate between meals. The more severe the infection, the more intense the symptoms will become. The pain may be so severe that no movement or medication can relieve it.
Gallbladder flare-ups may be treated with over the counter medications, but these medications will not correct the problem. Pain medications may reduce the pain, but the infection will remain in place. Antibiotics may help to reduce the inflammation. Gallbladder episodes will continually get worse the longer they are allowed to continue. Removal of the gallbladder with a traditional open cholecystectomy or a laparoscopic cholecystectomy can eliminate the problem altogether. A common bile duct exploration may be used to determine the extent of the damage that can be caused by gallstones and continuous infection.
If the gallbladder removal procedure is performed laparoscopically, the recovery time is rather short. The procedure will be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing the patient to return home the same day. While it is recommended that the patient hold off on their normal day to day routine for at least a week, they can begin to perform light duties as long as they do not lift over ten pounds or overexert themselves in any way. Laparoscopic gallbladder procedures are minimally invasive and use small incisions to perform the surgery. Because the incisions are strategically placed, much less tissue is damaged during the procedure, allowing for a shorter recovery time.
Glacier Surgical Associates accepts most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans they accept. Please contact the office if you do not see your insurance provider listed here.