Gallstones: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Cost
Last Updated: Jul 01, 2023
What are Gallstones?
Gallstones are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder, a small organ located below the liver in the upper right abdomen. The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver. Bile is released into the small intestine to help digest fats.
They can be made up of cholesterol, pigment, or a combination of both. Most gallstones do not cause any symptoms and do not require treatment. However, some people may experience pain or other symptoms if a gallstone becomes stuck in a bile duct or causes inflammation of the gallbladder.
There are several types of gallstones, including cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones are the most common type and are usually yellow-green in color. They are made up of excess cholesterol that has hardened and solidified in the gallbladder. Pigment stones are smaller and darker in color, and are made up of substances such as bilirubin (a breakdown product of red blood cells) and calcium.
Gallstones are more common in women than in men, and they tend to occur more frequently in people who are overweight or obese, have high cholesterol levels, or have a family history of gallstones. They may also be more common in people who follow a high-fat diet or have rapid weight loss.
Where do gallstones develop?
Gallstones are lumps or stones that form in the bile duct or gallbladder when specific chemicals solidify.
What is gallstone pain like?
Gallstone pain, also known as biliary colic, is a type of abdominal pain that occurs when a gallstone becomes stuck in a bile duct. The bile duct is a small tube that carries bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver, to the small intestine. When a gallstone becomes stuck in the bile duct, it can block the flow of bile, causing pain and other symptoms.
The pain associated with gallstones is usually severe and may come on suddenly. It may be described as a steady, cramping pain in the upper right abdomen, or it may be more severe and come in waves. The pain may also radiate to the back or the right shoulder blade.
In addition to pain, other symptoms of gallstone blockage may include nausea, vomiting, bloating, and fever. The symptoms may be worse after eating a meal, especially one that is high in fat.
Types of Gallstones
There are two main types of gallstones: cholesterol stones and pigment stones.
- Cholesterol stones: Cholesterol stones are the most common type of gallstone and are usually yellow-green in color. They are made up of excess cholesterol that has hardened and solidified in the gallbladder. Risk factors for developing cholesterol stones include being overweight or obese, having high cholesterol levels, following a high-fat diet, and having rapid weight loss.
- Pigment stones: Pigment stones are smaller and darker in color, and are made up of substances such as bilirubin (a breakdown product of red blood cells) and calcium. They are more common in people with certain medical conditions, such as cirrhosis (a liver disease), sickle cell anemia (a blood disorder), and biliary tract infections.
- Gallstones can also be mixed, which means they contain both cholesterol and pigment.
It is important to note that most gallstones do not cause any symptoms and do not require treatment. However, if a gallstone becomes stuck in a bile duct or causes inflammation of the gallbladder, it can cause pain and other symptoms. If you think you may have gallstones, it is important to talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Signs and symptoms of gallstones
Most people do not experience any gallbladder stone symptoms and do not require treatment. However, if a gallstone becomes stuck in a bile duct or causes inflammation of the gallbladder, it can cause the following symptoms:
- Severe abdominal pain: The pain may be steady and cramping, or it may come in waves. It is usually located in the upper right abdomen, but it may also radiate to the back or the right shoulder blade. The pain may be worse after eating a meal, especially one that is high in fat.
- Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms may occur along with abdominal pain.
- Bloating: You may feel full or swollen after eating a small amount of food.
- Fever: You may develop a fever if you have an infection or inflammation caused by a gallstone.
- Jaundice: This is a condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes become yellow. It can occur if a gallstone blocks the flow of bile from the liver to the small intestine.
Gallstone symptoms could get worse and eventually include the following:
- Elevated temperature
- Quick heartbeat
- The skin and eye whites are becoming yellow (jaundice)
- Rough skin
- A decrease in appetite
These signs could indicate a gallbladder infection or an inflammation of the pancreas, liver, or gallbladder.
It's time to visit a doctor or go to the emergency room if you have one or more of these problems because gallstone symptoms might mirror those of other serious conditions including appendicitis and pancreatitis.
Symptoms of gallstones in females
Gallstones form in a small organ beneath the liver called the gallbladder. Although both men and women can get gallstones, women are more likely to develop gallstones for a variety of reasons, such as hormonal changes during pregnancy, the use of hormone replacement therapy, and the use of birth control pills.
The symptoms of gallstones in females include:
Abdominal pain is one of the gallstones' most prevalent symptoms. A constant, extreme pain that frequently affects the upper right part of the abdomen in females with gallstones may also radiate to the back or shoulder blades.
Nausea and Vomiting
Gallstones can make you feel nauseous. These signs and symptoms are frequently accompanied by abdominal pain and may get worse after eating fatty or oily foods.
The skin and eyes turn yellow under the diagnosis of jaundice. Gallstones may occasionally block the bile duct, which can result in an accumulation of the yellow pigment bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice may occur as a result of this and may be followed by pale stools and dark urine.
Bloating and Indigestion
Women who have gallstones may feel bloated and uncomfortable in the belly, frequently with indigestion. These signs and symptoms can appear after eating, and they might become worse after eating fatty foods.
Fever and Chills
Cholecystitis, often known as gallbladder inflammation, can often be caused by gallstones. Fever, chills, and a generalised feeling of being sick may result from this.
What causes Gallstones?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing gallstones, including:
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing gallstones, as excess body fat can lead to higher levels of cholesterol in the bile.
- High cholesterol levels: High levels of cholesterol in the blood can lead to the formation of cholesterol stones in the gallbladder.
- Family history: If you have a family history of gallstones, you may be more likely to develop them yourself.
- Diet: A diet high in fat and cholesterol can increase the risk of developing gallstones. Rapid weight loss, especially when achieved through a very low calorie diet, can also increase the risk.
- Age: The risk of developing gallstones increases with age, especially in women.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop gallstones than men, especially during pregnancy, after menopause, or while taking certain medications such as birth control pills.
- Ethnicity: Gallstones are more common in people of Native American, Hispanic, and Northern European descent.
How can you prevent Gallstones?
There are several steps you can take to help reduce your risk of developing gallstones:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing gallstones. Aim to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a combination of diet and exercise.
- Eat a healthy diet: A diet that is low in fat and cholesterol can help reduce the risk of gallstones. Choose foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit your intake of high-fat foods, sugary drinks, and processed foods.
- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week.
- Avoid rapid weight loss: Losing weight too quickly, especially through a very low calorie diet, can increase the risk of gallstones. If you need to lose weight, aim to do so gradually, at a rate of about 1-2 pounds per week.
- Consider taking ursodeoxycholic acid: This medication can help dissolve cholesterol stones in the gallbladder. It may be recommended for people who have a high risk of developing gallstones or who have had multiple episodes of gallstone pain.
- Talk to your doctor: If you are at risk for developing gallstones, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medication, or other treatment options to help prevent the formation of gallstones.
- Do keep a healthy weight. Ask your doctor for assistance with modest, steady weight loss if you are overweight.
- If you have pain that you think might be brought on by gallstones, please inform your doctor. Get in touch with your doctor straight away once you are experiencing pain and a fever.
- Don't consume meals that are excessively large, heavy in fat, or that irritate your stomach. In response to fatty foods, the gallbladder contracts and may force a stone into the duct. Even more crucially, after eating a low-fat diet, stay away from meals heavy in fat.
- Don't go on a crash diet or a prolonged fast.
Gallstones - Diagnosis and Tests
Many times, a doctor treating a patient for another ailment will unintentionally find out the patient has gallstones. A doctor may suspect you have gallstones based on a cholesterol test, an ultrasound scan, a blood test, or even an X-ray.
Blood tests may be used by the doctor to check for infection, blockage, pancreatitis, or jaundice symptoms. Additional diagnostic exams comprise:
To allow a dye to concentrate in the gallbladder or bile ducts, an ERCP involves injecting it directly into the bile ducts or into the circulation. Ink is visible on X-rays.
The doctor will then be able to examine the X-rays and spot any gallbladder or bile duct conditions that might exist, like pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, or gallstones. The X-rays will show the doctor whether the dye is getting to the gallbladder, intestines, liver, and bile ducts.
If the dye does not penetrate any of these regions, a gallstone is likely to be blamed for the obstruction. The gallstone's location will be more clear to an expert.
The ERCP procedure can be used by the doctor to find and get rid of bile duct stones.
This non-invasive X-ray creates images of the interior of the human body in cross-section. It helps the doctor in finding out if there is a gallstone in the gallbladder.
Cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan)
A modest dose of safe radioactive material is administered by a medical professional. This is taken up by the gallbladder, which is then induced to constrict by a medical expert. This examination could reveal aberrant gallbladder contractions or a bile duct occlusion.
What are the potential side effects of gallstones?
Gallstones can obstruct the bile duct or duodenum, which can prevent the pancreas from receiving digesting fluids. Jaundice and acute pancreatitis may result from this. The gallbladder is typically surgically removed as part of treatment.
After eating a meal that is high in fat, people who have had their gallbladder removed typically experience bloating and indigestion. Some people might urinate more frequently than usual.
What are the results of untreated gallstones?
Gallstones that are not treated might lead to the gallbladder's tissue dying (gangrene). It is the most frequent side effect, particularly in elderly individuals, those who put off seeking treatment, and those with diabetes. Your gallbladder may rip as a result of this, or it can even rupture.
Can you live with gallstones forever?
You might lead a trouble-free existence for the rest of your days if your gallstones aren't giving you any symptoms. Your doctor might recommend having your gallbladder removed if you do exhibit symptoms. Your gallbladder is not necessary for survival. You won't see much of a change when it's gone. At first, you might experience diarrhoea. Consult your doctor if your diarrhea persists more than three months following surgery. Some individuals could discover that they require a gallstone diet low in fat.
What symptoms might be misinterpreted for gallbladder issues?
International research states that different illnesses can produce symptoms that resemble gallbladder discomfort. A few of these are:
- Bile duct cancer: The symptoms of gallbladder cancer include fever, bloating, itching, and stomach pain. Your doctor may use imaging testing to identify whether gallstones or cancer is to blame for the pain you're experiencing.
- Appendicitis: While appendicitis often produces pain in the lower right side of your abdomen, gallbladder discomfort typically appears in the upper to mid-right portion of your abdomen, near your back.
- Chest pains: According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, gallbladder pain can occasionally be mistaken for heart attack symptoms. Other heart attack symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, weakness, and jaw, neck, or back pain.
- Pancreatitis: Your pancreas will be inflamed if you have pancreatitis. This disorder may result in discomfort that resembles a gallbladder attack. However, some research note that in addition to these symptoms, pancreatitis can also cause weight loss, a rapid heartbeat, and oily or disagreeable-smelling faeces.
- Ulcers: In addition to causing searing stomach pain, bloating, a fullness sensation, burping, heartburn, and other symptoms, ulcers can occasionally induce abdominal pain.
- Bowel inflammation conditions: Some bowel illnesses not only produce diarrhoea, bloody stools, and weight loss, but they can also resemble symptoms of gallbladder pain.
- Gastroenteritis: Gastroenteritis, also referred to as the "stomach flu," may be confused with a gallbladder problem. The stomach flu is characterised by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhoea, and cramping.
- Renal stones: Sharp aches in your side, back, and abdomen might be brought on by kidney stones. Additionally, you can have urine that is hazy, smells bad, or is pink, red, or brown, as well as a persistent urge to urinate.
That is why, whenever you notice these symptoms, consult a doctor.
Home Remedies for Gallstones
There are no proven home remedies for gallstones. To get them out, you'll need to have surgery. However, you can try to live a healthy lifestyle to minimise the risk of developing gallstones. Cholesterol appears to have a significant role in the creation of gallstones, however, there is no method to totally prevent them. Your doctor might advise you to reduce foods high in saturated fat if you have a family history of gallstones. These foods include, among others:
- Cakes and cookies made with fatty meats like sausage and bacon
- Cream and lard
- Certain cheeses
Maintaining a healthy weight is another approach to reduce the risk of gallstone formation because persons who are obese are more susceptible to developing them.
Listed here are some home remedies for Gallbladder pain:
- Exercise: The medical professionals suggest doing at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. Regular exercise can lower cholesterol levels and lessen the risk of gallstone formation. Some activities might put stress on your abdomen and make your symptoms worse.
- Heated Compress: A heated compress can help ease spasms and relieve pressure from bile buildup for the health of the gallbladder. For the same result, you can also use a heating pad or hot water bottle - just be careful not to touch your skin directly on the heated surface.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: The raw apple cider vinegar's anti-inflammatory properties may aid to lessen gallbladder pain. Drink this tonic with warm water to relieve the pain until the pain stops. Avoid drinking it straight as it can harm your teeth, thus it's crucial to avoid doing so.
- Peppermint Tea: Menthol, a calming substance found in peppermint, aids with pain alleviation. Peppermint tea can be used to reduce nausea and enhance digestion, and treat stomach pain. Some believe that frequently consuming this tea helps lessen the frequency of gallbladder pain attacks.
These home remedies generally help patients in subsiding the symptoms of gallstones. Surgery, on the other hand, produces the results patient is longing for.
What to eat in Gallstones?
If you have gallstones, it is important to follow a healthy diet that is low in fat and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of complications. Some specific dietary recommendations may include:
- Choose foods that are high in fiber: Foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help lower cholesterol levels and may help prevent gallstones from forming.
- Limit your intake of high-fat foods: Foods that are high in fat, such as fried foods, processed meats, and full-fat dairy products, can increase your risk of developing gallstones.
- Choose lean protein sources: Choose protein sources that are low in fat, such as chicken, turkey, and fish, instead of higher-fat options like red meat.
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods: Sugary drinks and foods can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of gallstones. Choose water, unsweetened tea, and other low-calorie beverages instead.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals: Instead of eating three large meals per day, try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This can help prevent biliary colic, which is a type of abdominal pain that can be caused by gallstones.
The greatest method to maintain and enhance the health of your gallbladder is to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables also contain fiber, which is crucial for a healthy gallbladder.
Some of the items on the list are rich in calcium, vitamin C, or B vitamins, all of which are beneficial for your gallbladder.
According to some theories, more plant-based protein may also help reduce gallbladder disease. If you're not sensitive to soy, foods like beans, almonds, lentils, tofu, and tempeh are great alternatives to red meat.
What not to eat in Gallstones?
If you have gallstones, it is important to avoid certain foods that are high in fat and cholesterol, as these can increase the risk of complications.
For a healthy gallbladder diet, stay away from the following items:
- Fried foods: Foods that are fried, such as French fries, fried chicken, and donuts, are high in fat and can increase the risk of gallstones.
- Processed meats: Processed meats, such as hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats, are high in fat and cholesterol and should be limited if you have gallstones.
- Full-fat dairy products: Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products instead of full-fat options, such as whole milk, cheese, and butter.
- Baked goods: Baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, and pastries, are often high in fat and sugar and should be limited if you have gallstones.
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of gallstones, so it is best to limit your intake if you have the condition.
Most of the time, unless gallstones are painful, you won't need therapy. Gallstones can occasionally travel through your system undetected. Gallstones Surgery is probably something your doctor will advise if you're in agony. Medication may be utilised on occasion.
If you have a high chance of surgical issues, you can attempt a few nonsurgical methods. Even with extra treatment, your gallstones could recur if surgery is skipped. This implies that monitoring your condition may be necessary throughout the majority of your life if you choose to avoid surgery for gallstones.
Which doctor to consult for Gallstones?
If you think you may have gallstones, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Some types of doctors who may be able to diagnose and treat gallstones include:
- Primary care doctor: Your primary care doctor, such as a family medicine doctor or internist, can diagnose and treat gallstones. They may also refer you to a specialist if necessary.
- Gastroenterologist: A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specialized in the digestive system. They may be able to diagnose and treat gallstones or refer you to a specialist if necessary.
- General Surgeon: A surgeon may be involved in the treatment of gallstones if surgery is needed to remove the gallbladder or the stones.
Gallstones Treatment without surgery
There are several treatment options for gallstones that do not involve surgery:
- Medications: Medications called bile acid sequestrants can help dissolve cholesterol stones in the gallbladder. They may be recommended for people who have a high risk of developing gallstones or who have had multiple episodes of gallstone pain. These medications are usually taken by mouth and may take several months to work.
- Shock wave lithotripsy: This procedure uses shock waves to break up the stones into smaller pieces that can be passed through the bile ducts. It is typically used for stones that are too large to be dissolved with medication.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): During this procedure, a small camera is inserted through the mouth and into the small intestine to visualize the bile ducts. The doctor can then remove the stones using specialized instruments.
- Other procedures: Other procedures that may be used to remove gallstones without surgery include percutaneous cholecystostomy (in which a small tube is inserted through the skin and into the gallbladder to remove the stones) and laparoscopic cholecystectomy (in which a small camera is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to visualize and remove the stones).
It is important to note that these treatment options may not be suitable for everyone and may not be effective in all cases. Your doctor can help determine the most appropriate treatment option for you based on the size and type of the stones, your overall health, and other factors.
Which are the best medicines for Gallstones?
Bile acids found in the medications ursodiol link (Actigall) and chenodiol link (Chenix) help dissolve gallstones in some cases. Small cholesterol stones are the hardest to dissolve with these medications. To remove all stones, you might require months or years of treatment.
What surgical procedures are used to treat gallstones?
There are several surgical procedures that may be used to treat gallstones:
- Cholecystectomy: This is the most common surgical procedure for treating gallstones. It involves removing the gallbladder, which is the small organ located below the liver that stores bile. The gallbladder is not essential for digestion, so it can be removed without causing any major problems. Cholecystectomy can be performed through traditional open surgery or through laparoscopy, in which a small camera is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to visualize the gallbladder and remove it using specialized instruments.
- Common bile duct exploration: This procedure is used to remove stones that are stuck in the common bile duct, a small tube that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine. The surgeon can remove the stones using specialized instruments or a small basket inserted through an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end).
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography): This procedure involves inserting a small camera through the mouth and into the small intestine to visualize the bile ducts. The doctor can then remove the stones using specialized instruments.
- Shock wave lithotripsy: This procedure uses shock waves to break up the stones into smaller pieces that can be passed through the bile ducts. It may be used in combination with other procedures or as a standalone treatment.
What is the procedure of Gallstone surgery?
There are two main types of cholecystectomy: open cholecystectomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Both types of surgery involve making an incision in the abdomen to access the gallbladder.
During open cholecystectomy, the surgeon makes a large incision in the abdomen to access the gallbladder. The gallbladder is then carefully dissected free from the surrounding tissue and removed through the incision.
During laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen. A small camera, called a laparoscope, is inserted through one of the incisions to visualize the gallbladder. Specialized instruments are then inserted through the other incisions to remove the gallbladder.
Both types of cholecystectomy are typically performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the procedure. The surgery typically takes 1-3 hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the case.
After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room to be monitored. You may experience some pain and discomfort in the incision site and may need pain medication. Most people are able to go home within a day or two of the surgery. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions for post-surgery care, including taking any prescribed medications and avoiding strenuous activity until you have fully recovered.
Minimally Invasive (laparoscopic) cholecystectomy
Your abdomen is incised four times by the surgeon during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A tube with a tiny video camera is inserted into your abdomen through one of the incisions. Your surgeon removes your gallbladder while using surgical instruments placed through additional abdominal incisions while keeping an eye on a video monitor in the operating room.
If your surgeon suspects gallstones or other issues with your bile duct, you may next go through an imaging test like an X-ray or ultrasound. You are then brought to a recovery area once your incisions have been sutured. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be done in one to two hours.
For some people, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is not recommended. In rare circumstances, your surgeon may start with a laparoscopic technique and end up needing to create a bigger incision due to problems or scar tissue from prior surgeries.
Traditional (Open) cholecystectomy
During an open cholecystectomy, the surgeon makes a 6-inch (15-centimeter) incision in your abdomen on the right side, just below your ribs. Your liver and gallbladder are made visible after the muscle and tissue are pulled back. Your surgeon then removes the gallbladder.
You are then brought to a recovery area when the incision is sutured. In one to two hours, an open cholecystectomy is performed.
Pristyn Care uses the most advanced technology at its disposal to treat the patients of gallstones. They have a team of highly experienced surgeons and a great success rate in gallbladder surgery.
How long can you put off gallbladder surgery?
Typically, doctors would postpone surgery until an infection has begun to be treated by antibiotics and gallbladder inflammation has subsided. However, the study discovered that postponing surgery for longer than 72 hours resulted in a higher likelihood of problems and lengthier hospital admissions.
How long does the recovery process from gallstones take?
The average hospital stay is up to five days. Returning to regular activities can take about 3 to 4 weeks, and 6 to 8 weeks if your job is more physically demanding. In any case, you will need to make plans for somebody to transport you home from the hospital.
What is the cost of Gallstones treatment in India?
The cost of gallstones treatment in India can vary depending on several factors, including the type and severity of the condition, the type of treatment recommended, and the location of the hospital or clinic.
According to estimates, the cost of gallstones treatment in India can range from a few thousand rupees to several lakh rupees. Some specific costs may include:
- Medications: The cost of medications to dissolve gallstones can range from a few hundred to a few thousand rupees, depending on the type of medication and the length of treatment.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): The cost of this procedure, which involves inserting a small camera through the mouth and into the small intestine to visualize the bile ducts and removing the stones, can range from around 50,000 to 1 lakh rupees.
- Shock wave lithotripsy: The cost of this procedure, which uses shock waves to break up the stones into smaller pieces that can be passed through the bile ducts, can range from around 50,000 to 1 lakh rupees.
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: The cost of this surgery, which involves removing the gallbladder through several small incisions in the abdomen using a small camera and specialized instruments, can range from around 50,000 to 2 lakh rupees.
- Open cholecystectomy: The cost of this surgery, which involves making a large incision in the abdomen to access and remove the gallbladder, can range from around 50,000 to 2 lakh rupees.
It is important to note that these estimates are general and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. It is best to discuss the cost of treatment with your doctor or a hospital representative to get a more accurate estimate.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
About 50% of patients who receive bile acid treatment experience stone recurrence within the first five years. Nevertheless, symptoms don't usually return and retreatment isn't always necessary. After cholecystectomy, a small proportion of patients may develop gallstones again in the bile duct.
Post-Treatment Recommendations for Gallstones
Anyone diagnosed with gallstones can undergo the treatment. If you have pre-existing illnesses and take certain medications, let the doctor know in advance.
The following post-treatment recommendations should be followed for the best outcomes:
- Afterwards, take a break: For two to three days, indulge your stomach with a simple-to-digest food. After introducing clear liquids, broth, and gelatin, progressively incorporate solid foods.
- Choose smaller servings and avoid the menu items that are deep-fried: Large meals and high-fat foods might cause discomfort and bloating as your body adjusts to digesting fats without the help of a gallbladder. Your digestive system can tolerate smaller, lower-fat meals better spread out throughout the day; six is a good number.
Avoid eating the following things in the weeks that followed gallbladder surgery:
- High-fat meats, such as bologna, sausage, and hamburger
- Cheese, ice cream, whole milk, and other high-fat dairy products
- Cream soups or sauces and meat gravies
- Chicken or turkey skin
Additionally, as they are more difficult to digest during your early healing phase, we advise you to stay away from foods with a lot of spice. To reduce fat and enhance flavour, stir-fry lean meats like skinless chicken breasts or lean steaks in a skillet with a spoonful of olive oil rather than deep-frying them.
- Introduce foods that cause gas gradually: Although high-fiber foods are an essential component of a healthy diet, they may exacerbate the discomfort and cramps that might follow a cholecystectomy. While we don't advise you to avoid consuming fibre, we do advise incorporating it gradually into your post surgical diet over the course of a few weeks.
Foods that are natural gas producers and high in fibre include:
- Whole-grain bread
- Nuts and seeds
- Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
- Some breakfast cereals, such as bran flakes
Keep in mind that one to four weeks after your cholecystectomy, any digestive side effects should go away. If your problems persist after 30 days, it's important to see a doctor.
What are the side-effects of Gallstones treatments?
You should say that the side effects arise very rarely and do not occur at all if the surgery has been done by a good surgeon. The benefits of the surgery simply outweigh the rare side effects it may cause. Moreover, the chances of these side effects are way less if the surgery is done by a good surgeon.
You might experience some abdominal gas and gas pain following laparoscopic surgery. After ERCP, this can also be performed. Both procedures inflate your organs and make them more visible in pictures by pumping gas into them. It will go in a day or so. Although they are rare, post-operative consequences can include hemorrhage, infection, and harm to the organs in the surrounding area.
Risk factors for Gallstone
While certain gallstone risk factors can be influenced by food, others are less so. Age, race, sexual orientation, and family history are examples of uncontrollable risk variables.
- Obesity-related risk factors in lifestyle
- A low-fiber, high-fat, or high-cholesterol diet
- Shedding pounds quickly
- Having type 2 diabetes nowadays
- Risk factors for having a girl child and being of Mexican or Native American ancestry
- Having gallstones running in one's family
- Being at least 60 years old
- Medical danger signs having cirrhosis and getting pregnant
- Taking certain drugs to reduce cholesterol
- Taking prescription drugs high in estrogen (like certain birth controls)
Despite the fact that some medications may raise your risk of gallstones, you shouldn't stop taking them before talking to your doctor and getting their approval.
Gallstones - Outlook/Prognosis
If you have gallstones and your doctor decides you need surgery to remove your gallbladder or the stones, the prognosis is typically good. Most times when stones are removed, they don't come back.
You and your doctor will need to keep an eye on your progress if you decide against having surgery and instead choose to take medicine to dissolve the stones.
If your gallstones aren't causing any symptoms, you generally won't need to do anything. However, you might wish to alter your way of living to stop them from escalating and becoming a problem.
You can find the best surgeons in the country at Pristyn Care for your gallstones treatment. So, if you see any signs and symptoms of gallstones, immediately book your appointment and visit your doctor at Pristyn Care. They would try to help you out in every possible way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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- Gallstones- Medline Plus, Health Topics, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine [Internet]. medlineplus.gov 2019 [Cited 30 July 2019]. Available from:
- Gallstones- Medline Plus, Medical Encyclopedia, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine [Internet]. medlineplus.gov 2019 [Cited 30 July 2019]. Available from:
- Dieting & Gallstones- NIH, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 2017 [Internet]. niddk.nih.gov [Cited 30 July 2019]. Available from:
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