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 pain medications, but these medications will not correct the problem. These pain medications may reduce the pain, but the infection will remain persist. Gallbladder episodes will progressively get worse the longer they are permitted to continue. The gall bladder cannot be repaired, and only the removal of the gall bladder altogether can eliminate the problem. Removal of the gallbladder with an open cholecystectomy is less commonly needed today than it was in the past, as it can now be achieved through a traditional laparoscopic cholecystectomy or utilizing the minimally invasive da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. A common bile duct exploration may be necessary to determine the extent of the damage that can be caused by gallstones and continuous infection.
If the gallbladder removal procedure is performed through the minimally invasive approach, 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 provided that they do not lift more than 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 involved 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.