Gallstones – Who is prone, what are the symptoms and treatment

Filed in: Diseases.

The gallbladder (or "gallbladder" traditionally) is a small, saccular-shaped organ that is located under the liver, in order to store the bile secreted by it. Bile, produced by the liver, excretes helps to digest fats. Gallstones are composed of cholesterol and other components that are found in bile. Sizes can vary in size from millimeters to several centimeters.

What are gallstones?

Gallstones represent the presence of stones (stones) inside the gallbladder and bile ducts (anatomical ducts that carry bile from the liver to the intestine).

Who is prone to gallstones:

Women are more prone to this condition, people who are overweight, people who have a family history with members who suffer from gallstones, those who have high cholesterol or triglycerides, women who receive estrogen therapy in postmenopausal and pregnant women.

The main causes are a disorderly diet rich in fats, high calories, sedentary lifestyle, constipation, exhaustion.

What are the main symptoms? "gallblader synchronous sizes =" "height =" "width =" "></a></p>
<p>– Pain is the main symptom and occurs in the epigastric region (stomach area) and on the right side of the hypochondrium (right subcostal) and can radiate (can spread) backwards and to the right shoulder. The pain can appear suddenly and does not relieve even if the patient tries to obtain a comfortable position: it avoids deep breathing, it can have a postprandial (after eating) or nocturnal character and it has a variable duration of tens of minutes to hours or days.</p>
<p>It can be intermittent pain, manifested as periodic crises (biliary colic) or continuous pain, which is not easily relieved in case of complications.</p>
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Nausea and vomiting from a bitter taste in the morning to vomiting food (green), an event that relieves pain. Loss of appetite Fever a sign of complications (acute cholecystitis). Jaundice, dark urine, pale stools, sign of migration of stones in the main bile duct with obstruction of the bile duct.

The evolution of gallstones.

There are forms without symptoms; those gallstones are discovered after a routine ultrasound examination; and it is also formed with clear symptoms of pain in the upper right quadrant, vomiting, alteration of the general state and complicated forms associated with fever and jaundice.

How is the diagnosis of gallstones, biliary colic or acute cholecystitis made?

Gallstones, most commonly, are diagnosed by ultrasound tests. Biliary colic is associated with cholelithiasis, a characteristic symptomatology; in this case, the ultrasound image is slightly modified from asymptomatic gallstones. Acute cholecystitis has a more intense symptomatology than colic and can be associated with fever. The ultrasound test shows thickened and inflamed walls of the gallbladder, and laboratory tests (increased leukocytes) are changed.


For pain, antispasmodics, analgesics, antiemetics (prevents vomiting) can be administered with a role in relieving symptoms. However, this medication will not make "stones" disappear. Patients, in addition to obvious periods of pain, can develop infectious complications (acute cholecystitis, gangrene, perforation), mechanical complications (migration of the common bile duct with the appearance of jaundice), etc. Therefore, surgical treatment is indicated at the beginning, once it is known that the patient has asymptomatic or symptomatic gallstones.

What surgical treatment options are there?

Surgery involves removal of the gallbladder (bile); of the reservoir where stones (stones) are formed. This operation can be done in two ways: laparoscopic or open.

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Laparoscopy has many advantages: the operation is performed by mini incisions of a maximum of 1 cm, under the control of a miniature video camera (laparoscope) inserted in the abdomen through one of the incisions and with a long forceps and Slim specially designed for laparoscopic surgery. Recovery from laparoscopic surgery is much faster (basically, you can go home the next day), the scars are more aesthetic, the pain and suffering are considerably reduced compared to classical surgery.

Classic surgery means making an incision in the right subcostal or median area, from 12 to 15 cm, and should be reserved for cases that can not really be solved laparoscopically. Although surgery removes the same gallbladder, recovery is more difficult and postoperative pain is usually higher.

Gallstones: who is prone, what are the symptoms and treatment, article source:

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