The gallbladder is a pear-shaped, hollow organ that is situated below the liver, on the upper right side of the
abdomen. It is responsible for storing and concentrating bile, a yellow-green fluid produced by the liver that helps
break down fat for digestion. The gallbladder belongs to the biliary tract along with the liver and bile ducts.
Any infection, inflammation or blockage that affects the gallbladder and its functions is called a gallbladder
Left unaddressed, gallbladder disease can lead to more serious medical emergencies requiring gallbladder surgery,
including the removal of the gallbladder.
Common gallbladder conditions and their treatments include:
Gallstones are hardened deposits that form from cholesterol and bilirubin, a substance produced from the natural
breakdown of red blood cells. They range in size and number. Some patients may have several tiny stones, while others
may have a single large stone. Gallstones are characterized by sudden sharp pains in the right part of the upper
abdomen, which may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and indigestion. Treatment-wise, smaller gallstones are typically
passed out the body through the stool. Larger stones, which block the bile ducts and cause severe pain, are better
treated via gallstones surgery in Singapore.
Biliary colic is a sudden dull pain in the right side of the upper abdomen that occurs when the cystic duct or bile duct
is blocked, preventing bile from flowing from the gallbladder to the small intestine. Commonly known as a gallstone
attack, biliary colic is often caused by gallstones that may be large or numerous enough to block the passageway of
bile. The pain is usually worse after mealtimes but would subside. Removing the gallstones or the entire gallbladder is
the recommended treatment for chronic biliary colic.
Jaundice refers to the yellow discoloration of the skin, eyes (sclera), mucus membranes and other bodily fluids. It
develops when the body produces too much bilirubin, a natural, yellow-orange by-product of the breakdown of red blood
cells. Jaundice is often a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as hepatitis, gallstones, obstructed bile
duct and gallbladder cancer. The treatment for jaundice will depend on its main cause. If it is due to gallstones or
gallbladder cancer, the treatment is often the removal of the gallbladder.
Inflammation and irritation of the gallbladder is known as cholecystitis. It is usually caused by gallstones that clog
the bile duct, causing bile to build up, thus causing inflammation. Certain injuries, medications, cancer and
immunodeficiency are other causes of cholecystitis. Left untreated, this can lead to life-threatening conditions such as
gallbladder rupture, gangrene and serious bacterial infections.
Gallbladder perforation or gallbladder rupture occurs when the gallbladder’s walls break or leak. It is commonly caused
by an untreated gallstone or chronic cholecystitis. If left untreated, a perforated gallbladder may lead to systemic
inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) or sepsis. With a perforated gallbladder, gallbladder removal is typically the
recommended course of action.
Gallbladder polyps refer to abnormal growths that protrude from the interior lining of the gallbladder. Most polyps are
benign and small, usually forming due to cholesterol. Larger polyps, however, may suggest a higher risk of cancer in the
future. Gallbladder polyps may be removed from the organ via laparoscopic surgery. In serious cases, the gallbladder may
As with most cancers, gallbladder cancer usually doesn’t show any symptoms until it is in its advanced stages. It is rare
but very treatable when caught early. Treatment-wise, cholecystectomy is performed by a gallbladder surgeon in Singapore
order to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. Surgery may also be accompanied with chemotherapy
At KYM Surgery, our gallbladder specialist can perform both open and laparoscopic gallbladder surgery:
- Laparotomy (open surgery) – A long incision is created on the abdomen to access the gallbladder. This method is
patients who have sustained scarring from previous operations, or those who are diagnosed with a bleeding disorder.
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (keyhole surgery) – Surgical instruments and a lighted instrument attached to a camera
are inserted into
the body through small abdominal incisions to access the gallbladder.
Between the two, keyhole surgery is the preferred option because it is much less invasive and results in minimal downtime
and discomfort, as well as reduced risk of complications.
We pride ourselves for the Care and Devotion to every patient with
expertise, compassion, time and understanding.