Gallbladder Disorders

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped, hollow organ that is located under the liver. Its main function is to store and concentrate a greenish-brown fluid secreted by the liver called bile. It helps in digesting fat in the small intestine.

Common indications for gallbladder removal include symptomatic gallstone disease and gallstone related complications such as acute cholecystitis, which is an infection of the gallbladder.

A gallbladder disorder causes abdominal pain.
A gallbladder disorder causes abdominal pain.

What is Gallstone?

Location of the gallbladder.
Location of the gallbladder.

Excessive cholesterol or bile salts in the bile can cause gallstone formation. A gallstone can be single or multiple. Its size ranges from as small as sand to as large as a golf ball. Patients with gallstones might not have symptoms.

If a gallstone gets stuck in the gallbladder duct, it can cause severe pain at the right upper part of the abdomen. The pain can last for 15 minutes to a few hours.

Those who experience pain usually require gallbladder to be removed. A gallstone that doesn’t cause any symptom usually requires no treatment.

Acute Cholecystitis

Acute cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder and is usually caused by a gallstone that is stuck at the neck of the gallbladder.

An individual will usually present with a persistent pain right upper part of the abdomen. The person may have a fever too.

Surgical removal of the gallbladder is the recommended treatment for acute cholecystitis because the inflammation can happen again and again.

Stones in the gallbladder.
Stones in the gallbladder.

Gallbladder Surgery

Cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal can be performed via traditional open surgery or through laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy involves making several small incisions on the abdomen.

As the incision is small, there are added benefits. There is a decrease in postoperative pain and thus, reducing the need for painkillers. Hospital stay is short and one can resume a daily routine quickly.

It provides a safe and effective treatment for most patients and it has rapidly become the procedure of choice.

Currently, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most commonly performed major surgery in the western countries.


Dr Cha Kar Huei

MD (Canada) FACS (USA)
Consultant Bariatric and General Surgeon

Dr Cha is a surgeon at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC). He graduated from Dalhousie University, Canada in 1998. He entered surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed his training at the University of Wisconsin in 2004.

He trained at the New York University Medical Centre on minimally invasive bariatric surgery and attained a Fellow of the American College of Surgeon in 2009.

Dr Cha is experienced in minimally invasive surgery with an interest in bariatric surgery. He is also a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Featured On

The Star Online
Her nspirasi

Schedule an appointment today to learn more about the procedures.

Place of Practice

Subang Jaya Medical Centre
No. 1, Jalan SS12/1A, SS 12,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Parkcity Medical Centre
No. 2, Jalan Intisari Perdana,
52200 Desa Parkcity, Kuala Lumpur.