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Gallbladder Disease

da Vinci® Single-Site® Surgery

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Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located under your liver. It stores bile, a fluid made by your liver that helps to digest fat. The gallbladder and several ducts (tubes) used to transport fluids, are called the biliary system. The following ducts are a part of this system:

  • Hepatic bile ducts - carry bile out of the liver
  • Cystic duct – takes bile from the liver to store in the gallbladder
  • Common bile duct - takes bile from cystic and hepatic ducts to the small intestines
  • Pancreatic duct - carries digestive enzymes out of the pancreas

As your stomach and intestines digest food, your gallbladder releases bile through the common bile duct. This duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestines. Specific types of gallbladder disease include:

  • Gallstones: One or more hard, pebble-like substances that develop in the gallbladder. There are two types of stones. The most common is the cholesterol stone made mostly of hardened cholesterol. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The pigment gallstone is small, dark and made of waste products.
  • Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Chronic acalculous: The gallbladder does not empty properly
  • Gangrene: Decay of gallbladder tissue or abscesses (collection of pus)
  • Polyps: Growths of tissue in the gallbladder
  • Sclerosing cholangitis: Swelling of the hepatic bile ducts attached to the liver
  • Tumors: Abnormal growths on the gallbladder and bile ducts

All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risk specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to an open approach; or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to http://www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-surgery/safety-information.php.

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PN 1002275 Rev A 04/2013

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