What are gallstones?

Gallstones form in the gall bladder which is a small "purse-like" organ sitting under the liver in the right side of the upper abdomen. It's main job is to collect bile which is formed in the liver and then release it into the gut, particularly after the ingestion of fatty foods.

Gallstones are extremely common and 10% of women in their 40's are affected.

Signs & Symptoms

Gallstones can cause a number of different problems.

 

 

 

 

 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of gallstones is made by a doctor on the basis of symptoms and signs and further tests. This usually includes ultrasound scanning, which is about 95% accurate in demonstrating stones. Sometimes it is necessary to undergo MRI scans to identify stones in the bile ducts.

 

 

Treatment Options

 

However, once gallstones become symptomatic, patients often prefer to consider surgery to remove these symptoms as well as the approximately 2% annual risk of suffering the complications above.

 

 

 

Recovery

  • It is usually possible following laparoscopic cholecystectomy to return home the morning after surgery.
  • You should be able to resume normal activities within one to two weeks.
  • You should be able to return to work within approximately two to three weeks, depending on the type of work you do.
  • Driving may be resumed not before 48 hours after surgery, and when you are able to safely perform an emergency stop.
  • The gall bladder is not an essential organ, and following removal you should have no difficulty in eating a normal diet.
  • Read more on Wikipedia

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