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Gallbladder Specialist

David  W. Ranson, MD, FACS -  - General & Vascular Surgeon

David W. Ranson, MD, FACS

General & Vascular Surgeon located in South Charleston, WV

Did you know that excess gas, nausea, and diarrhea are common signs of gallbladder disease? David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, knows how quickly mild discomfort from gallbladder disease can progress to a serious problem. That’s why he provides diagnostic tools, like ultrasound scans, at his office in South Charleston, West Virginia. Gallbladder disease is a painful condition that can worsen without treatment. For a consultation with Dr. Ranson, call his office or schedule an appointment online today.

Gallbladder Q & A


What is gallbladder disease?

Gallbladder disease occurs when your gallbladder becomes inflamed and develops gallstones. Gallstones are small, hard deposits of a type of digestive fluid called bile. They can be smaller than a speck of dirt or as large as a golf ball.

If you have a small gallstone, you might not feel it at all. However, if you have several gallstones or one to two large deposits, you can experience extremely painful symptoms.

What are the symptoms of gallbladder disease?

Without treatment, gallstones can lodge into nearby ducts, leading to uncomfortable symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Intense pain in your upper right abdomen
  • Pain between your shoulder blades
  • Extreme pain below your breastbone

Schedule a visit with Dr. Ranson right away if you experience yellowing of the skin (jaundice), high fever, chills, or abdominal pain that affects your ability to sit without pain.

What causes gallbladder disease?

Doctors don’t currently know exactly what causes gallbladder disease, but gallstones have been linked to high cholesterol levels and too much bilirubin in your bile. Bilirubin is a chemical your body uses to break down red blood cells. Too much bilirubin in your body is often a sign of liver cirrhosis and biliary tract infections.

There are many factors that put you at risk of having gallbladder disease, including:

  • Eating a high-fat, low-fiber diet
  • Having Mexican or Native American heritage
  • Having a family history of gallstones
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Being overweight
  • Losing weight very quickly
  • Liver disease
  • Certain blood disorders
  • Inactivity

If you have any of the above risk factors for gallbladder disease, a high-fiber diet and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce your chances of developing chronic gallstones.

What are the treatments for gallbladder disease?

Dr. Ranson may perform an ultrasound if he suspects you have gallbladder disease. If the scan shows that you have gallstones, he may recommend medication to dissolve the gallstones.

However, the most common treatment for gallbladder disease, particularly if gallstones are a recurring issue, is the removal of the gallbladder.

Once Dr. Ranson surgically removes your gallbladder, your bile will travel straight from your liver through your small intestine. 

If you’re struggling with recurring gallstones, call David W. Ranson, MD, FACS, or schedule an appointment online today.

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