Gall Bladder Stones
Gall Bladder is a pear-shaped organ on the right side of the abdomen just beneath the liver. Gallbladder assists in the digestion of food by storing and secreting bile juice into small intestine during the process digestion. Sometimes ingredients of bile juice like cholesterol & bile pigments can form hard particles called Gall Stones. These gallstones can block the flow of bile juice, which can result in the swollen gallbladder and can cause severe pain and discomfort to the patient.
What Causes Gall Stones?
Gallstones are a generally caused due to an imbalance in the ingredients of bile juice. For example, excess cholesterol in bile juice can form cholesterol crystals which over time turns into gallstones. Excess bile pigment can also form gallstones. 80% of the gallstones are cholesterol stones and 20% are pigment stones.
Sometimes gallbladder may fail to empty the bile juice into the intestine properly. This can directly result in the formation of the gallstones from the bile juice left over in the gallbladder.
Many factors contribute to formation of gallstones, including but not limited to:
- Hereditary factors
- Body weight
- Life Style
What are the Symptoms of Gall Stones?
Many people with gallstones live without symptoms. But people in whom the gallstones block the bile duct, experiences following symptoms:
- Chronic pain in the upper abdomen
- Gas bloating, Indigestion etc..
How are Gall Stones Diagnosed?
Once the GI Physician suspects the existence of gallstones, he may prescribe one or more of the following tests:
- Blood tests
- CT scan
What is the Treatment for Gall Stones?
Cholecystectomy, surgical procedure for removal of the gallbladder is the only proven and permanent cure for gallstones.
What is Cholecystectomy?
Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove Gall Bladder & Gall Stones.
Types of Cholecystectomy
There are two types of cholecystectomy-Open Cholecystectomy & Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.
In this type of gall bladder removal surgery, the surgeon makes one large incision(5-7 inch) through which he removes the gallbladder. Generally, surgeon opts for Open Cholecystectomy in the patients with severe gallbladder infection or history of upper abdominal surgery.
In this type of gall bladder removal surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions and use a narrow camera guided device to remove the gall bladder. The incisions are then cleaned and dressed. Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is relatively advanced and low-risk procedure.
Advantages of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy:
- In Open Cholecystectomy, five to seven-inch incision is made, whereas in the Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy only four small incisions are made
- Less pain after the surgery
- Faster recovery, usually in 2-3 days.
- Risk of developing complications is comparatively low
The Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed under general anesthesia, so the patient wont feel any pain during the procedure. However, the patient may experience mild discomfort and pain after the surgery. The patient is discharged on the same day of the surgery; rarely one-night stay in the hospital may be needed.