Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid which can lead to the formation in the gallbladder. Now, the question is; what is a gallbladder? Well, gallbladder is a very small and pear-shaped organ at the right side of one’s abdomen beneath the liver. They can hold the digestive fluid which is known as bile, and it is released to the small intestine.
Gallstone ranges in size from a grain of sand to a large one like a golf ball. There are some people who develop only one gallstone and others develop more than one at the same time. When it comes to gallstones treatment, most of them do not need one because they do not cause any symptoms or signs. But there are some people who experiences symptoms and for them a course of treatment is necessary and in some cases gallbladder removal surgery is also needed to be performed.
Most gallstones have no signs or symptoms. If a gallstone lodges in a duct and then causes a blockage then the symptoms that might happen are:
- Sudden and rapid intensifying pain in the upper right part of the abdomen.
- Sudden and rapid intensifying pain in the centre of the abdomen, just below the breastbone.
- Pain in the right shoulder.
- Back pain in the shoulder blades.
- Vomiting or nausea.
- Gallstone pain may last several minutes to a few hours.
When to see a doctor
Well, when the signs and symptoms become moderate to intense, then one must seek immediate medical care. Also, there are a few things to look out for:
- Intense abdominal pain which can make a person very uncomfortable.
- Yellowing of the skin and white portion of the eyes.
- High fevers and chills.
There is no specific reason why gallstones happen. According to doctors it can happen when:
- The bile contains too much of cholesterol. Normally bile is loaded with chemicals to dissolve the cholesterol which is excreted by the liver. But of the liver starts excreting more cholesterol than that excess ones can crystallise and eventually turn to stones.
- Sometimes the bile contains too much of bilirubin. It is a product produced when the body breaks down some red blood cells. Liver can end up making too much bilirubin in some cases like blood disorders and biliary tract infections. They can contribute much to gallstone formation.
- In some case, the gallbladder does not empty correctly. If that does not happen properly then the bile becomes very concentrated and contributes to the formation of gallstones.
Types of gallstones
Types of gallstones that can form in the gallbladder include:
Cholesterol gallstones: This is the very common type of gallstones which often appears yellow in colour. They are composed majorly of undissolved cholesterol and contain other components.
Pigment gallstones: They are black or dark brown stones where the bile contains too much of bilirubin.
For gallbladder stone operation the surgeon mostly goes for microsurgery where small incisions can occur.