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McHenry County Surgeon Offers Insight on Alarming Increase of Biliary Disease in Younger Patients Requiring Laparascopic Cholecystectomy


June 17, 2014 - Mchenry, IL

"The number of young people undergoing laparascopic cholecystectomy has nearly quadrupled in the last decade," sites McHenry general surgeon Basudeb Saha, MD, FACS. This shift is presumed primarily because of the growing prevalence of obesity in children. Gallstone or biliary disease in children was in the past considered very rare. "Typically gallbladder disease was a disease of women in their forties who had multiple children," reflects Dr. Saha. However, it has been noticed that between the late 1990's and 2010, laparoscopic cholecystectomy has risen from about 3.5% to 13% in people aged 15-24 years. The increase in laparoscopic cholecystectomy in this age category far exceeds that seen in any other age group. Notably, this young age group of 15-24 also experienced the largest increase in obesity.

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that sits in the right upper abdomen. Its function is to store bile. The bile is carried to the intestine to help digest food. It is believed that excessive cholesterol in the bile causes gallstones to form. When the gallbladder contracts against a stone, it can cause abdominal pain felt in the upper belly. It is not uncommon to have gallbladder problems without stones. Gallbladders can also become swollen, inflamed, or gangrenous requiring cholecystectomy.

It is a well-known fact that obesity increases the amount of cholesterol in bile causing gallstone formation. Research also suggests that diets high in calories and refined carbohydrates and low in fiber increase the risk of gallstones. "The need for a healthy diet should be part of the education of our children," explains Dr. Saha. If surgery should be indicated in a child, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a very safe and successful procedure. "In my practice I perform laparoscopic cholecystectomies in children as well as adults with excellent outcomes," says Dr. Saha. Should your child have symptoms of gallstone disease, consultation with a surgeon is recommended.

About Basudeb Saha, MD, FACS
Dr. Saha earned his medical degree at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. He later completed his training in general surgery at the New Jersey College of Medicine where he also served as Chief Resident. He completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Dr. Saha is board-certified by the American Board of General Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgery. He has received numerous excellence awards in his general practice and maintains active memberships in the American College of Surgery and several other prestigious organizations. He is available for interview upon request.

Contact Information:
Basudeb Saha, MD, FACS
McHenry Office
4318 L Crystal Lake Rd
McHenry, IL 60050
815 344 0620

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