Frequently Asked Questions
What are gallbladder stones or gallstones?
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped sac-like organ that stores excess bilirubin produced by the liver. Gallstones or Gallbladder stones are the crystals formed due to bile cholesterol and excess bilirubin stored in the gallbladder.
What are the symptoms of gallbladder stones?
Symptoms associated with gallbladder stones are:
- Pain in the upper abdomen which may extend to the upper back
- Nausea, vomiting
- Dark urine
- Change in the color of the stool (usually clay colored)
- Stomach ache
- Loose stools
What are the treatment options for gallbladder stones?
Treatment options available for Gallbladder Stone Removal are:
- Surgical removal of the gallbladder (Cholecystectomy)
- Gallbladder cleanses - There are many alternative medicines and recipes available which are believed to cleanse the gallbladder and remove the stones through the stools. However, there are not enough studies proving the same.
- Natural and home remedies
- Medication therapy
What happens if gallstones are untreated?
If gallbladder stones are left untreated then in a few of the cases, the stone goes away on their own, but it is very rare. The accumulated stones cause pus formation and damage the inner lining of the gallbladder and can even lead to gangrene(dying of the tissue) of the gallbladder.
What are the dietary changes to be made after gallstones removal?
After undergoing gallstone removal surgery, one should avoid the following food items that are high in fats.
- Fried foods
- Meat high in fats such as bacon, bologna, sausages, etc.
- Food prepared with excessive butter
- Palm oil and coconut oil
- The skin of the meat (chicken or turkey)
Who are the specialists for treating gallbladder stones?
A certified and well-experienced Gastroenterologist and or General Physician can treat gallbladder stones.
What are the causes of gallbladder stones?
Few of the causes of gallbladder stones are:
- Excessive amount of cholesterol in the bile
- Excessive amount of bilirubin in the bile
- Concentrated bile when bile is full
What is the success rate of Gallbladder Stone Removal Treatment?
The success rate of cholecystectomy is around 95% and may depend on the adherence of the patient to the treatment.
How are gallbladder stones diagnosed?
Ways to diagnose gallbladder are:
- Abdominal CT-scan
- Blood test
- ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)
- Gallbladder radionuclide scan
What are the risk factors for gallbladder stones?
Few of the risk factors associated with gallbladder stones are listed below:
- Old age
- A diet containing high cholesterol or fats
- Rapid loss in weight
- Consuming medication with high estrogen levels
- Liver cirrhosis
- Females are more predisposed
- Diabetic patients