Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Provider photo for Ninad Dabadghav

Ninad Dabadghav, MD

Surgery: General

Welcome to My Doctor Online, a web site that my colleagues and I developed to make it easier for you to take care of your healthcare needs. On this site you will find answers to many of your questions about my clinical practice. Also included are several online features that will allow you to e-mail me, check your laboratory results and refill prescriptions. I hope you find its content informative and useful.

My Offices

Santa Clara Homestead
Appt/Advice: 1-408-851-2000

See all office information »

subContentURL_nobackslash = resources/dc/condition

firstActiveTabUrlFragment = resources/dc/conditionlist

subContentURL_nobackslash = resources/dc/condition

JSP2Include = /mdo/presentation/conditions/condition.jsp?nocache=true


The gallbladder is part of the digestive system. It is located in the upper right part of the abdomen, under the ribs. The gallbladder stores bile, a substance the liver produces to help digest fats. Over time, hard crystals may form in the bile that can cause severe pain. These are gallstones.  

Gallstones are common. A diet that is low in fat can help reduce symptoms. However gallbladder pain can recur. The stones can cause swelling and infection. Removing the gallbladder is the most effective long-term treatment. To do this, we use a surgical procedure called a cholecystectomy.

Once the gallbladder is removed, the digestive process continues as normal. Instead of the bile being stored in the gallbladder, it flows directly into the small intestine. Most people recover quickly. 

Risk Factors

Although gallstones are fairly common, some factors increase the risk of having gallstones:

  • Being overweight
  • A diet high in fat
  • Having sickle cell anemia 
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy (for women)
  • Taking the birth control pill (for women)
  • Being pregnant


Gallstones don’t always cause symptoms. However, if they are large or the gallbladder is inflamed, you may experience symptoms. Symptoms may include:

  • Severe pain, especially after eating fatty foods.
  • Pain in the right side of the abdomen.
  • Pain across the chest that may even feel like a heart attack.
  • Unexplained fever.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Jaundice. This is a yellowing of the skin and the white of the eyes. This is caused by the buildup of bile in the body.


We review your full medical history and obtain an abdominal ultrasound. This helps us confirm that your symptoms are the result of gallstones and not something else, such as heart disease.

We may conduct one or more of these tests: 

  • Blood tests.
  • Electrocardiogram (also known as ECG or EKG).
  • CT scan, which provides detailed computerized X-rays.

Methods of Surgery

We remove the gallbladder under general anesthesia. There are 2 ways to do this: 

Laparoscopic surgery. We make several small incisions in the abdomen. We insert a laparoscope into one of the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin tube with a small camera that also illuminates the surgical site. The gallbladder is removed using long specialized instruments. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • No cutting of abdominal muscles
  • Less pain
  • Less bleeding
  • Less scar tissue
  • No need for hospital stay
  • Reduced risk of a postoperative hernia

Traditional open surgery. This requires a single larger abdominal incision.  We may use this method if your gallbladder is inflamed. You will need to be admitted to the hospital to recover.

After Your Surgery

If the surgery is laparoscopic, you will be able to go home the same day. You should be able to drink fluids and take oral pain medications.

Complications of surgery are rare. However, in some instances, there can be severe complications from surgery. These can include:

  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Injury to nearby organs including the bile duct, liver, or intestine.

After surgery, watch for signs of complications. Let us know if you experience any pain, particularly after eating rich or fatty foods.

Call us if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever over 101°F. 
  • Pain that is not relieved by medications.
  • Blood with bowel movements that is more than occasional spotting.
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting.
  • Jaundice or yellowing of skin.

Lifestyle Changes

With a healthy lifestyle, most people feel much better after surgery. We recommend lifestyle changes that include:

  • Exercising regularly. Aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week.
  • Eating smaller meals. Portion control is an important part of a healthy diet.
  • Avoiding fatty foods, especially after surgery.

Related Health Tools:

Interactive Programs
Prepare for Your Procedure

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

Content loading spinner