The gallbladder is a tiny organ that you can comfortably live without, but if it develops any calcified deposits, commonly known as gallstones, life can become uncomfortable quickly.

Gallstones range in size from a grain of rice to golf ball. It is possible to have a single gallstone or many at one time.  Some even come in waves. 

If you are lucky, the presence of gallstones may never cause symptoms. But, if a gallstone becomes lodged in a duct and creates a blockage, you may experience:

  • Pain in the upper-right abdomen that occurs suddenly  and intensifies rapidly.
  • A similarly sudden pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
  • Sharp pains in your back directly between shoulder blades
  • Specific pain localized within your right shoulder
  • Nausea or vomiting

You can lower your risk of developing gallstones by keeping consistent mealtimes and maintaining a healthy weight.

Should you require gallbladder removal surgery, Puyallup Surgical Consultants offers a low-impact laparoscopic procedure that will not even affect your digestion.

Your surgeon will make several minuscule incisions for laparoscopic tools, which can extract your gallbladder, and reroute bile production from the liver directly into the small intestine. You should be able to return home on the same day as your surgery and experience full recovery within a couple of weeks.


Inflammation of the gallbladder, known as cholecystitis, can be cause for removal. It is most commonly caused by gallstones but can also be the result of a tumor, blocked bile duct, viral infection, or impaired blood flow.

The procedure to remove a gallbladder affected by cholecystitis is more or less identical to removal due to gallstones, and the recovery process should be comparably swift.

We understand that every surgery, major or minor, can be a challenging experience and the compassionate staff at Puyallup Surgical Consultants will support you through your care process.