What are Gallstones?


Gallstones are small stones that form in the Gallbladder.

Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that stores and releases bile, a fluid made in your liver, to help in digestion of fat. Bile carries wastes like cholesterol and bilirubin, which the body makes when it breaks down red blood cells.

Causes of Gallstones

  • Gallstones primarily happen when there’s too much cholesterol or bilirubin in your bile. Your liver makes cholesterol & bilirubin, but they can also come from the foods you eat.
  • Gallstones can also form if your gallbladder doesn’t empty correctly or often enough. This majorly happens if you/ you are –
    • Lose weight quickly
    • Pregnant
    • Diabetic
    • Take certain medicines like estrogen or cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Gallstones are more common in women than in men & tend to run in families.

Symptoms of Gallstones

  • Severe Abdomen Pain
  • Pain in upper belly, on the right side, under your ribs
  • Digestive problems like heartburn, gas or indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upset Stomach
  • Jaundice
  • Gall stone Pancreatitis

Diagnosis of Gallstones

  • Blood Tests
  • Ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • EUS
  • HIDA Scan (Cholescintigraphy)

Complications due to Gallstones

  • Biliary Colic
  • Acute Cholecystitis
  • Jaundice, Cholangitis
  • Gall stone Pancreatitis
  • Gall stone Ileus

Preventing Gallstones

Gallstones can be usually be prevented by making lifestyle changes like -

  • Eating a healthy Diet rich in fibres & consumption of good fats, like olive oil/ fish oil.
  • Doing Regular exercise for a minimum 4-5 days a week

In case you are at high risk of gallstones because of your family history, seek a doctor’s help for preventive remedies.

Treatment of Gallstones

Majority of gallstones are asymptomatic and do not need any treatment. However once symptoms develop and if associated with any complications then they need to be addressed.

The Surgical Gastroenterologist may recommend surgical removal of the gallbladder if you have evident symptoms, which can’t be handled through medicines.

There are 2 types of options available –

  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy – In it, the gallbladder stones are removed through a tiny slit in the abdomen with the help of a tiny video camera. The recovery is faster and the patient can be discharged on the next day.
  • Open Cholecystectomy – This is performed if the former one is not possible.

At Gleneagles Global Hospital, Lakdi ka pul

We offer the best results along with the least complications in performing the most difficult gall bladder surgeries. All the complications arising due to the complications of gall stones are comprehensively handled in house. Enquire Now

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