What are Gall Stones?
The stones that develop in the gallbladder or bile ducts are gallstones. These stones can range from microscopic to more than an inch in size. When cholesterol levels in the bile are too high, then that excess cholesterol turns into what is called as gallstone. They are usually green or yellow in color. Another type of gallstone is pigment stones, which are mostly made up of bilirubin and are smaller and darker. Cirrhosis (a liver disease) or blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia, triglycerides (a type of blood fat), fasting, obesity, genes and diet can be some of the reasons of gall bladder stones.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if:
- You have repeated gallstone attacks
- The pain from the attacks is severe
- In case of inflammation of the gallbladder or the pancreas
- You have an impaired immune system
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever or chills
- Chest pains
- Heartburn, indigestion, and excessive gas
- Stools of an unusual color (often lighter, like clay
- Pain in the upper abdominal area, either in the upper right or middle
- Severe abdominal pain
- Pain that worsens after eating a meal, particularly fatty or greasy foods
- Headache over eyes, especially right
- Minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery or Cholecystectomy requires only 3-4 small incisions in the abdomen instead of five to seven inch incisions. If there are significant symptoms of gallstones, then laparoscopic surgery is the best cure for it. First, general anesthesia is given to the patient post which small incisions are made to insert a few instruments with which the gallbladder is removed. It has various advantages over other methods such as minimal post-operative pain, faster recovery, same day return to home etc.
- Traditional or open surgery which takes few days to recover
Consequences of untreated gallstones
- Pancreatitis which is inflammation of the pancreas
- Empyema which is pus in the gallbladder
- Gallstone Ileus is the condition that arises when a gallstone blocks the intestine.
- Perforated Gallbladder is a life- threatening condition and is most common in people with diabetes
- Gangrene or Abscesses
- Infection in the Common Bile Duct (Cholangitis)
- Gallbladder Cancer