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U.S. Captain Christie Rampone Has Surgery to Remove Her Gall Bladder

CHICAGO (May 15, 2008) -- U.S. Women’s National Team captain Christie Rampone had surgery yesterday morning to remove her gall bladder at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, Calif. The procedure was performed by Dr. Craig Smith.

Rampone, who played the full 90 minutes against Canada on May 10 in the USA’s 6-0 victory over Canada at RFK Stadium, should be able to return to training in several weeks.

The laparoscopic surgery is deemed minor, but was necessary as Rampone had been suffering from abdominal pains. The surgery is usually done if the organ is inflamed or obstructed, and the incisions during the procedure are very small.

The gall bladder, which is not considered a vital organ, lies directly under and abutting the liver. It is connected to the liver and the upper portion of the small intestine via a duct system. The gall bladder's purpose is to collect and store bile from the liver, then release it at the appropriate time into the small intestine for digestion. The human body functions very well without the gall bladder, although sometimes dietary restrictions have to be observed following the surgery, which is common for someone with Rampone’s symptoms.

Rampone returned home two hourrs after the surgery and began her rehabilitation today. She should not miss any matches as the USA’s next game is in a month on June 15 at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea. Rampone has started all 14 matches the USA has played this year and leads the team in minutes played.

“The surgery went well and I’m feeling great,” said Rampone. “I was in good hands and my recovery is already underway. I’m going to take it slow, so I can be 100% when I get back. If I was going to have my gall bladder out, this is probably a good time.”