Gallstones can grow like crystals in the gallbladder. There can be one large stone or
several small stones formed.
Gallstones Removal Explained
Often gallstone formation is due to a chemical imbalance in bile, either too much calcium, cholesterol or bile salts (bilirubin) .
Some people never know they have gallstones. Other people develop pain from a gallbladder inflammation. When the inflammation is severe, gallstone removal surgery may be recommended. It is necessary to remove the whole gallbladder containing the stones.
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Causes of Gallstones
Poor diet and weight gain or weight loss are the most significant contributors to gallstones. The most common people to need gallstones removal:
- Are 40 years old or older
- Take cholesterol lowering medications
- Are female and more so in women who have been pregnant
- Have a family history of gallstones, especially women
- Are women who are on high-dose oestrogen replacement therapy
Obesity and Gallstones
There is a higher incidence of gallstones in people with obesity, than in people who live most of their lives within a normal BMI. People with higher risk of developing gallstones:
- Have high-fat diets
- Exercise less
- Have diabetes
- Men who have lost a large amount of weight quickly and regain it
- Women who have a high amount of fat around the torso
Bile is a chemical manufactured by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is secreted by the gallbladder into the digestive tract to help with the digestion of fats. When the cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate, and calcium carbonate in bile gets out of balance it can clump into gallstones.
Cholecystitis is a very painful condition caused when the gallstones roll around in the gallbladder and it becomes inflamed. The symptoms can include nausea and pain after eating, ranging from soreness in the torso to discomfort when taking a deep breath. More severe symptoms are fever and intense pain in the right side of the torso.
The diagnosis can includes a physical exam and ultrasound. CT scan may also be used to assess the extent of the inflammation or disease. Surgery may be recommended when the gallstone pain is severe, there are blocked bile ducts, or inflammation is severe.
If you have any questions or concerns about gallstones removal, enquire or make an appointment at Advance Surgical: (08) 9386 2634.