Weight Loss, Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery

Upper Gastrointestinal, Oesophageal & Stomach Surgery

Endoscopy / Gastroscopy & Colonoscopy

Keyhole and General Surgery

Cancer Screening Emergency and Acute Care Surgery

Gallstones & Gallbladder Diseases


Understanding Gallbladder Diseases and Gallstones

The Gallbladder is a small sac-like organ located below your liver. The gallbladder’s function is to store the bile that is produced from your liver, which is then used to help in the digestion of fats.

Gallbladder diseases refers to the infection or inflammation of the gallbladder. Gallbladder complications usually occur due to blockages caused by gallstones that form in the gallbladder.

Are My Symptoms Gallbladder-Related?

Possible Signs of Gallbladder Diseases:

Types of Gallbladder Diseases

Risk Factors

Prevalence of Gallstones in Singapore

In Singapore, symptomatic cases of gallstones (which requires medical attention) continues to be on the rise. Gallstones are present in about 10-20% of the population.

Gallstones are formed from hardened bile, and if the bile contains high levels of cholesterol, bilirubin or bile salts, it hardens into stones. Gallstone sizes can vary from the size of a grain of salt to a golf ball.

Symptoms caused by gallstones gets more serious over time. Consult our gallbladder specialists today.

For consultation after office hours, head to Gleneagles Urgent Care centre (UCC) and request for Dr. Tan Chun Hai.


When Should I See a Doctor?

As soon as you experience symptoms that may be caused by gallstones, you should consider seeing a specialist. Pain caused by gallstones can become more frequent and intense, signalling that your condition may be getting serious

How are Gallbladder Diseases Treated?

Treatment for gallbladder diseases and gallstones will depend on your condition and severity. In cases where symptoms are mild or not present, they may be managed by medications and dietary changes.

However, with more serious conditions, surgery may be recommended by your doctor to remove the gallbladder. This is generally a safe procedure and patients can continue to lead a normal life even with their gallbladder removed.

Advantages of Keyhole Gallbladder Surgery

When required, gallbladder surgery can be performed in a minimally invasive manner, enabling reduced post-operative pain and a smoother recovery. Such a procedure is medically known as Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.

Keyhole surgery allows your surgeon to perform surgery through small incisions instead of having to make big cuts in the abdomen. Surgery usually takes 1 to 3 hours and patients may be able to go home on the same day, or discharged after spending a night in the hospital.

20+ Years of Clinical Expertise

Dr Tan Chun Hai (陈俊海医生)

Upper Gastrointestinal, Bariatric & General Surgeon

Dr. Tan Chun Hai is a dual fellowship-trained surgeon in laparoscopic (keyhole) stomach cancer surgery and bariatric & metabolic surgery. His clinical expertise includes the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques for gallbladder diseases, appendicitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Dr. Tan is also well-versed in specialised diagnostic procedures, regularly carrying out endoscopy/gastroscopy and colonoscopy for his patients. When applicable, Dr. Tan provides same-day treatment within a few hours of diagnosis. Dr. Tan subscribes to a less invasive practice, enabling shorter hospital stays, usually within 1-2 days.

Patients’ Feedback

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Frequently Asked Questions

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (keyhole gallbladder removal) is the most common type of operation performed for gallbladder diseases, when surgery is required.

Small incisions are made in the abdomen where a laparoscope and surgical instruments can be inserted.

This way, your surgeon will be able to view the inside of your abdomen while removing your gallbladder, all while keeping the procedure minimally invasive.

Patients can lead a normal life after gallbladder removal as it won't really affect one's ability to digest food. The liver will continue to produce bile which will be transported straight into the digestive tract instead. With diet and lifestyle changes, patients can continue to improve their quality of life even after surgery. As a rule of thumb, you should adopt a healthy low-fat diet, avoid foods that cause bloating and eat your meals in smaller portions.

While not all gallbladder diseases require immediate treatment, they can develop into severe complications like inflammation or infection of the gallbladder, bile duct or pancreas.

In such cases, immediate treatment will be required.

Take for example a gallstone condition that goes untreated:

When gallstones get stuck traveling through the bile duct, they may block the outflow of bile causing a "gallbladder attack".

This is usually characterized by a sharp pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.

Consult a medical specialist if you're worried about symptoms or wish to get assessed for gallbladder diseases.

Surgicare Bariatric and General Surgery is on the specialist panel of most Integrated Shield and Corporate Insurance Plans.

To ensure you peace of mind, our staff will always be readily available to assist you with claims and financial estimates of your procedure(s).

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.