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Additional Resources

Gallbladder Disease:

Single Site Gallbladder Surgery:

Learn about the potential risks of da Vinci Single-Site Surgery, how your surgeon removes your gallbladder, and whether it's right for you.

Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease

Signs and symptoms of gallbladder disease are often caused by gallstones that block your bile ducts. Gallstones occur when bile hardens in your gallbladder.

Gallbladder symptoms are sometimes called "gallbladder attacks" because they can occur without warning. Gallbladder attacks often happen at night or after a high fat meal.

Common Symptoms1

  • Steady pain in upper right side of your stomach
  • Pain increases quickly and lasts 30 minutes to several hours
  • Pain between your shoulder blades
  • Pain under your right shoulder

If your symptoms get worse or include a fever, see a doctor immediately. An attack often goes away when gallstones move, but your gallbladder can become infected and rupture if the blockage remains. That's why it is important to let your doctor know if you think you had a gallbladder attack.

Severe Symptoms

See a doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms or if your symptoms get worse:

  • Pain that lasts more than 4 hours
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills or fever
  • Yellowish discoloration of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • Clay-colored stools

Asymptomatic Stones

If you have gallstones but no symptoms, these gallstones are called "asymptomatic stones". They do not affect how your gallbladder, liver, or pancreas works.

Causes of Gallbladder Disease

1.National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gallstones/#3