What is Gallstone
Gallstone disease, also known as cholelithiasis, is a common condition that affects Crores of people worldwide. It occurs when hard deposits, called gallstones, form in the gallbladder, which is a small organ located beneath the liver that stores bile. Bile is a fluid produced by the liver that helps in the digestion of fats.Gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a lemon. They are made up of cholesterol, bilirubin, and other substances found in bile.Gallstone disease is more common in women, people over the age of 40, and those who are overweight. It can also be caused by a number of other factors, such as a family history of the disease, rapid weight loss, and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and Crohn's disease.
Symptoms of Cholelithiasis can include :
Abdominal pain - this is the most common symptom, and it typically occurs in the upper right part of the abdomen. The pain may be severe and can last from several minutes to several hours.
Nausea and vomiting - these symptoms may accompany the abdominal pain and may be particularly severe if the gallstones cause an obstruction in the bile duct.
Jaundice - this is a yellowing of the skin and eyes and is caused by the buildup of bilirubin in the body.
Fever and chills - these symptoms may indicate that there is an infection in the gallbladder or bile duct.
Clay-colored stools - this can occur if the bile duct is blocked, and it prevents bile from reaching the intestines, resulting in pale or gray stools.
Diagnosis is typically done through imaging tests such as ultrasound or CT scans. Treatment depends on the severity of the disease and may involve medication, lifestyle changes, or surgery.
if you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options for cholelithiasis can include :
in some cases, gallstones may not cause any symptoms, and your doctor may recommend simply monitoring the condition to see if any symptoms develop.
This is the most common and preferred method for removing the gallbladder. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves making small incisions in the abdomen and inserting a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light) and other small instruments to remove the gallbladder. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is associated with less pain, shorter hospital stay, and quicker recovery compared to open surgery
This surgical option involves making a larger incision in the abdomen to remove the gallbladder. Open cholecystectomy may be necessary in cases where there are complications such as a very large gallbladder or when the laparoscopic procedure is not feasible like in patients with a poor heart function.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP is a procedure that combines endoscopy (using a long, flexible tube with a camera and light) and X-ray to remove gallstones that have moved out of the gallbladder and into the bile ducts. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) and a catheter is inserted into the bile ducts to remove the gallstones from the Common Biled duct. ERCP is always followed by surgical removal of the gall bladder.
This procedure is used in patients who are not good candidates for surgery due to poor health or who have a high risk of complications from surgery. It involves inserting a needle through the skin and into the gallbladder to drain the bile and relieve symptoms.