gallbladder pain

Bilirubin: What it is and What it does

Bilirubin: What it is and What it doesBilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool. Bilirubin can be found in two forms in the body – direct bilirubin, which is soluble and indirect bilirubin, which is insoluble. All people have bilirubin in the body, but if the levels of this substance go very high from things like liver failure, Gilbert syndrome, gallbladder infections, and certain medications, it could lead to several health problems, some of which could include jaundice and brain injury.

Since jaundice is very common in children and newborn babies, most doctors monitor their levels of bilirubin. In case of suspected jaundice in adults, doctors may conduct tests and refer to the normal range of this substance in the adult bilirubin chart.

If an adult shows the symptoms of high bilirubin levels such as yellowing of the whites of the eyes or yellowish tinged skin, a doctor may recommend a bilirubin test. Once the results are available, the reading is compared to the bilirubin chart for adults showing whether levels are normal or not. In order to analyze the bilirubin levels in adults, a doctor looks at the values of three things – direct bilirubin, indirect bilirubin, and total bilirubin.

In cases of high bilirubin it is important to begin treatment immediately.

Treatment can include:

  • Medications
  • Liver transplant

If you have been diagnosed with high bilirubin levels or are noticing the symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson to find the best treatment options for you.

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Gallbladder Single Site Robotic Surgery

Those of you who have experienced gallbladder pain know there are few things more excruciating. Patients who have frequent gallbladder pain often opt to undergo gallbladder surgery to avoid another painful episode. Gallstones—crystalline formations made up of cholesterol and other components of bile made by the liver to digest fat, affect nearly 25 million Americans, and studies show that one million new cases of gallbladder stones are diagnosed each year. Thanks to the population’s overindulgence in refined sugars and fatty foods, that number is expected to grow even higher.

Prior to the inception of minimally invasion surgery, gallbladder operations were major procedures that required the surgeon to make a five- to seven-inch incision across the abdomen. It was often six weeks before a patient could resume normal activities, and post surgery required a four day hospital stay.


Today, patients have the option of the single site robotic surgery with the da Vinci Robotic System. With da Vinci Single-Site Surgery, your gallbladder is removed through a single small incision in your belly button similar to traditional single-port laparoscopy. Patients who choose da Vinci Single-Site Surgery experience virtually scarless results, and a much higher patient satisfaction than those with other types of gallbladder surgery. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system coupled with flexible Single-Site instruments. These features enable your doctor to operate with enhanced vision and precision.

To talk to Dr. Johnson about learning more about a gallbladder single site robotic surgery, email him at or call his clinic at (702) 369-7152.