As the name suggests, gallstones are a condition in which stones form in your gallbladder. These stones are basically hardened deposits of various digestive fluids. The stones can form in a range of sizes, from as big as a golf ball to smaller than a grain of rice. Naturally, this condition is quite painful. The symptoms include pain all over the abdomen, the back, and even between your shoulder blades and this can be a very harrowing experience for the person going through it.
There is one main line of treatment for gallstones and that is to remove the gallbladder entirely. This is done through surgery. However, this only happens if your gallstones begin to cause problems and interfere with your health. Many people out there have gallstones but since they don’t suffer from any problems, the condition does not need to be treated at all.
There are also oral medications that can be prescribed in order to dissolve and clear up the gallstones. These are usually given in milder cases. When the cases progress and the patient begins to experience major problems with their gallstones, then surgery is the only option.
The first step to the treatment is the diagnosis. The process of getting diagnosed is fairly simple. A technician will take pictures of your gallbladder to get an idea of the kinds of stones there are. Then, pictures of your bile duct will also be taken to confirm whether or not there are gallstones present over there as well. There may also be blood tests to determine whether or not there are any other complications from the gallstones. Once all of this is done, your treatment can begin.
As stated earlier, for cases of gallstones where no symptoms or discomfort is caused, no treatment is required. You will be asked to keep an eye out for any symptoms but other than that, there will be no medication. With mild cases of gallstones, you will be given oral medication to help dissolve the stones within your body. However, it is important to note that these may take years to dissolve and can reoccur.
The surgical procedure for removing gallbladder stones is known as cholecystectomy. Once the gallbladder is taken out of the body, the digestive juices and bile flow into your intestine directly from the liver. The surgery lasts a few hours and you will be hospitalized for a few days afterward. The exact number of days will depend on your medical history and whether or not you experience any complications after the surgery.
Anyone who has stones in their gallbladder can opt to get the treatment done.
If you do not have stones in your gallbladder, it is not advisable for you to get the organ removed from your body. If you are experiencing pain or any of the other symptoms of having gallbladder stones without actually having the stones, your doctor will run more tests to find out what the problem is.
From the point of view of the way your body functions, your digestive system will remain unharmed after the surgery. It can function normally, with the exception that the bile will reach the small intestine directly from the liver instead of being passed through the gallbladder first. There are a few side effects to having surgery that one can be vary of. These include bruising and swelling, pain, and an infection at the site of the surgery if the wound was not closed properly.
After surgery, a combination of rest and exercise is very important. Though you will be bed ridden, you will also be encouraged to walk a little in the hospital. This is because the quicker you are on your feet, the faster your body will heal.
On an average, it takes about two weeks to recover from the stress of a surgery. The pain should begin to subside and your body should begin its natural healing process.
Surgery can be very expensive, depending on the city you live in and the hospital where you are getting the surgery done. Getting your gall bladder removed can range in cost from Rs. 1,50,000 – Rs. 4,00,000.
Removing the gallbladder from the body is one way to ensure that you will never get gallstones again. Thus, the treatment is permanent.
Gallstones do not have any alternate treatments. If the symptoms are bad enough for you to see a doctor, then you must do so.
Gallstones are small stones that form in the gallbladder as a result of the deposits caused by the bile, a type of digestive fluid. Actually, the gallbladder stores bile and releases it into the duodenum (part of the small intestine) for the digestion of fats. However, when the gallbladder is unable to release the bile properly, the bile deposits start building up and manifest in the form of stones. These stones vary in size, ranging from tiny sand-like grains to big golf ball-like stones.
Symptoms of gallstones: Many times, individuals have stones in their gallbladder and yet they do not experience any discomfort. These stones are very small in size and therefore, do not cause trouble. This is why they are called silent stones and for such individuals, treatment is not needed. But if an individual experiences discomfort, it is a signal for treatment. The signals come in the form of specific symptoms such as pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, pain between the shoulder blades, nausea, vomiting, fever, and even jaundice.
Causes of gallstones: Gallstones may result due to common. Excess bilirubin produced by the liver causes hard, dark brown stones called pigment gallstones. Even when the gallbladder cannot empty the bile, stones are formed due to the concentration of bile.
Treatment: Once gallstones are detected through a CT scan or ultrasound, the doctor begins the course of treatment. Gallstones can be removed only through surgery. In surgery, the gallbladder is removed to help the bile flow directly into the duodenum from the liver. This surgery is called cholecystectomy and it is a safe procedure. The removal of gallbladder does not affect the digestive system in any way.
Prevention: Gallstones can form in any individual’s gallbladder but some people are more susceptible to the condition. Such individuals include women over 40, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, obese/overweight individuals, and those with a family history of gallstones. Therefore, such people should be aware of the risk they face. If such individuals report any symptoms related to gallbladder stones, they should get it diagnosed immediately. Apart from this, one should also keep a check on the diet. A high-fat or high-cholesterol diet should be replaced with a high-fiber diet and one should also take meals on time. Not eating anything for long hours and fasting increases the risk of gallstones. Regular exercise also helps in this matter. Last but not the least, one should drink plenty of water as it regulates the functioning of the liver and prevents the formation of stones. Gallstones are a common disorder but they cause difficulties for the patient and hence, one should get it treated on time. If surgery is recommended, one should not delay it and get it done as soon as possible. Delay only aggravates the problem.
Diet and other lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise and high waist-hip ratio are seen to be the significant contributing factors of certain medical conditions, gallstones one among them. Gallstones have become a highly prevalent issue in India, with an increasing number of patients reporting abdominal pain and discomfort. And it is also seen to be more common in females than in males. If your doctor suspects this problem, then he would proceed with the diagnosis and treatment as applicable.
How are gallstones treated?
If gallstones are not leading to any signs or symptom, then in such cases the treatment is not required. However, if an individual suffers from any symptoms or a gallbladder attack, then the health care provider normally recommends undergoing surgery. This surgery is used for removing the gallbladder. Sometimes, the individual may not be in a condition to undergo surgery and, in such cases, conventional treatment may be used for curing the disorder.
The surgery for the removal of the gallbladder is known as the cholecystectomy and is one of the most common surgical interventions performed for people with gallstones. The gallbladder is not considered to be a significant organ in the human body. This means that an individual can easily survive without the gallbladder. As the gallbladder is removed, bile starts flowing out of the liver through common and hepatic bile ducts without creating any issues.
What are the surgical options required for removal of gallstones?
There are two types of surgeries used for removal of stones in the gallbladder. These are explained below.
What to expect after the procedure?
A small percentage of the patients have softer and more frequent stools after the removal of the gallbladder. These changes in bowel habits are normally temporary, and they are required to be consulted with the expert.
Since the incidence of gallstones is found to be related to gallbladder cancer, it is essential to work with your doctor to avail proper treatment and avoid such dire complications. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A cholecystectomy is the process of removing the gallbladder. This is a small pear-shaped organ, which is present just below the liver and on the upper right side of the abdomen. This surgical procedure is performed if there are any gallstones present in the gallbladder. These stones can cause pain or infection in the gallbladder.
Discomfort after a Cholecystectomy:
The gallbladder stores bile, which is produced by the liver. This liquid produced by the liver is helpful in digesting fatty food. When there is any problem with the gallbladder, it is removed and a human being is able to survive without a gallbladder. Once the gallbladder is removed, the bile produced by the liver moves directly to the small intestine. There will not be any kind of problem due to the removal of the gallbladder, but your body will take some time to get adjusted to the changes. Hence, you need to make certain changes to your diet to avoid any kind of discomfort caused after a cholecystectomy.
Tips for avoiding discomfort after a cholecystectomy:
The gallbladder is responsible for storing and releasing bile. This bile aids in digestion by breaking down fat cells. If the gallbladder does not function optimally, small crystals begin to develop within the gallbladder. These are known as gallstones and can range from being the size of a salt crystal to a golf ball. Gallstones can be extremely painful and do not go away on their own. Since the body can function without a gallbladder, a surgeon may advise removing this organ to treat gallstones. This is known as a cholecystectomy. Today, this surgery is usually performed laparoscopically.
What is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy?
This surgery is also known as a keyhole surgery. Unlike an open surgery, in this case, the surgeon makes a few small incisions through which instruments may access the gallbladder. The removal of the gallbladder is also done through one of these incisions. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy may also be performed if the gallbladder is inflamed or in the case of pancreatitis. There are a number of advantages to this type of surgery. Most important amongst them is that the patient recovers faster and has less scarring.
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Procedure
This surgery is usually performed while the patient is under general anaesthesia. The surgeon begins by making a number of small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. A tube is then inserted into one of the incisions. Carbon dioxide gas is passed through this tube to separate the underlying organs from the abdominal wall. A tiny camera is inserted into another cut. The feed from this camera is displayed on a large monitor. Clips are sued to cut off the arteries and ducts servicing the gallbladder. The gallbladder is them cut free and pulled out of the abdomen through one of the incisions. During the surgery, special x-rays may also be used to check for gallstones lodged in the bile ducts. The incisions will then be stitched and dressed. In most cases, patients may go home on the same day.
Recovery from Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
This surgery has a high success rate and is considered relatively safe. However, there are some risks associated with the procedure. These include:
Recovering from a gallbladder removal surgery usually takes a week. Unless there are any complications, extended hospitalization is not required. In the first few days after the surgery, patients may experience slight diarrhoea. Patients are advised to walk but should avoid lifting weights. Special antibacterial soaps should be used while bathing to avoid the onset of infections. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The gastrointestinal system starts from the oral cavity and ends at the anus where undigested food is eliminated from the body. The esophagus, small intestine, large intestine and rectum along with organs like salivary glands, pancreas, liver and the gall bladder are all part of the gastrointestinal system. The gastrointestinal problems affect women differently than men. The symptoms which are observed in women are different than the symptoms observed in men. Some of the major areas where the women’s gastrointestinal system works differently than men’s are in the stomach, esophagus, colon and other areas.
The process of emptying food from the stomach seems to be slower in women than in men which can be the reason why women experience nausea and bloating more than men. Another problem which affects women more than men is gastritis which causes inflammation of the stomach. Patients often take aspirin-like compounds as a quick solution for reducing the inflammation; however, this may lead to irritation in the stomach lining which can eventually lead to ulcers. Consulting a doctor is therefore advised before taking any step.
Esophagus is another organ which works differently for men and women. For women, especially premenopausal women, the muscle squeezes shut strenuously to make sure that the stomach juices and food stay in the stomach. Women tend to have heartburn more often than men; however, women are less likely to damage their esophagus in comparison to men.
Gallbladder Issues in Women
The process of emptying from the gallbladder is also slower in women than in men. Men are less likely to develop gallstones than women. The problem of developing gallstones is often heightened for women who are pregnant. This is usually the reason why more women develop gallstones after pregnancy. There are a number of symptoms which indicate a gallbladder disease. Any pain in the upper abdominal after eating or nausea and vomiting can indicate the risk of gallbladder diseases.
Liver and Small Intestine Issues
For the liver and small intestine, women secrete different enzymes than men. Enzymes from the liver and small intestines help in breaking down any medications they take, in the body. Since the enzymes work differently for both men and women, women handle the medications differently which either has little or too much effect on them. So patients must consult their doctors before starting any medication. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!