Do you love Cape Cod fried clams? Fried cod? French fries? Do you follow them up with an ice-cream cone? If so, your gallbladder probably doesn't love you.
Though gallbladder surgery is the sixth most common surgery performed in the U.S., it is the second most common surgical procedure on the Cape, according to Hyannis surgeon Larry Novak, M.D. In a report published by Cape Cod Healthcare, Novak says the emergency room at Cape Cod hospital is the busiest of all Massachusetts hospitals in the summer months and unhappy gallbladders are one of the reasons why.
What begins as a queasy stomach from a meal high in fat, can end up with breathtaking pain and a trip to the E.R. Novak says tourists who don't indulge in these Cape staples all year, often overdo it while on vacation, and that overwhelms their gallbladder's ability to filter out the fat.
Oftentimes the solution is laparoscopic removal of the organ. Novak says after some bland foods for a few weeks, the body adjusts and patients can return to their fatty treats, although he advocates a healthy plant-based diet for all.
Symptoms of gallbladder trouble include abdominal pain after eating and fever. Though the pain of the early attacks may subside, the problem of a diseased gallbladder will only worsen until it won't be ignored.
So, in addition to the threat of sharks in the water, now we have to worry about fried clams attacking our gallbladder. Oh well, winter is coming.