Cholecystitis And Gallstones Specialist

Southern California Multi-Specialty Center

Vascular Surgeons & Pancreatic and Robotic Surgeons located in Porter Ranch, CA & Sherman Oaks, CA

Patients who have gallstones and cholecystitis can rely on leading edge treatment from Dr. Babak Eghbalieh at Southern California Hepatobiliary Pancreatic & Robotic Surgery Institute. His expertise in robot-assisted gallbladder removal delivers safe, optimal results with minimal scarring and less time in the hospital. Dr. Eghbalieh sees patients throughout the Southern California area, with offices in Valencia, Porter Ranch, and Sherman Oaks, California, and a new office opening in Los Angeles in the near future.

Cholecystitis and Gallstone Q & A

How are gallstones and cholecystitis associated?

The gallbladder stores bile that’s made in the liver, then releases the bile into the small intestine when it’s needed to digest fats. When gallstones develop, they can block the opening into the small intestine. As a result, bile builds up and the gallbladder becomes inflamed and infected, which is called cholecystitis. When cholecystitis becomes chronic, or persists on-and-off for a long time, the gallbladder can lose its ability to function.

What causes gallstones?

Gallstones may develop from several causes. If bile contains too much cholesterol, the extra cholesterol can form into crystals that eventually turn into stones. The bile can also contain too much bilirubin, which contributes to the formation of gallstones. You could also develop gallstones when the gallbladder doesn’t empty properly, resulting in highly concentrated bile that’s more likely to cause gallstones.

Factors that may increase your risk of developing gallstones include:

  • Your age
  • Being overweight or history of rapid weight loss
  • If you’re Native American or Mexican-American
  • Activity level
  • Eating habits, such as a high cholesterol or high-fat diet
  • Family history

What are the symptoms of gallstones?

Gallstones alone may not cause any symptoms, but once they cause a blockage, any of the following symptoms can develop:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the upper-right quadrant of the abdomen
  • Pain in the center of the abdomen
  • Pain between shoulder blades
  • Pain in the right shoulder

The pain often develops after eating a high-fat meal and may last for several hours. Getting early treatment for gallstones is important to prevent cholecystitis and other complications, such as pancreatitis, jaundice, or cancer of the gallbladder. It’s definitely time to seek medical help if you develop severe pain and fever.

How are gallstones treated?

In cases of uncomplicated cholecystitis, you may be treated as an outpatient with antibiotics and analgesics. Otherwise, surgery is required, which means that Dr. Eghbalieh will perform minimally-invasive surgery to remove the gallbladder using a laparoscope or an advanced computer-assisted robotic system.

Dr. Eghbalieh’s expertise in single-site, robot-assisted cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) combined with the exceptional three-dimensional movement provided by the robotic system results in gallbladder removal that’s safer and more precise than standard surgery, with virtually no scar.

With robot-assisted cholecystectomy, patients have fewer complications, less postoperative pain, better function, minimal scarring, and a shorter stay in the hospital. Dr. Eghbalieh is an expert in robotic surgery and has a bedside manner that’s appreciated by his patients, as he gives personal attention to each surgery patient.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

Dr. Eghbalieh accepts many of the largest Insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the accepted plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Cigna
Facey Medical Group
Health Net
Healthcare Partners
Imperial Health Holdings
Medi-Cal
Medicare
Regal HMO
United Health Care
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