Gall bladder conditions :: Gall bladder stones :: Bile duct stones :: Gall stone surgery
Gall Bladder Stones
Gallstones are small, hard substances formed in the gallbladder. They are formed when bile stored in gall bladder hardens. Bile is a fluid secreted by liver that helps in digestion of fats. Bile contains cholesterol, fats, water, bile salts, and bile pigments. Gallstones block the flow of bile to small intestine. Due to this blockage digestive enzymes and bile remains in the bile ducts causing inflammation of gall bladder and liver.
The types of gallstones include; cholesterol stones, pigment stones, and mixed stones.
Cholesterol stones are yellow-green deposits containing hardened cholesterol. They are formed when the bile contains excess amount of cholesterol and bilirubin.
Pigment stones are small, dark colored substances made of bilirubin.
Mixed stones comprise cholesterol and salts.
Gallstones develop in people with cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and hereditary blood disorders. Some of the factors that increase the risk of gallstones include women and people over 60 years, obesity, cholesterol lowering drugs, diabetes, and liver disease.
The most commonly observed symptom include pain in the abdomen, fever, and yellowing of skin and eyes. Additional symptoms includes as abdominal fullness, clay-colored stools, nausea, and vomiting.
Obstruction caused by gallstone may lead to biliary colic, inflammation of gall bladder (cholecystitis). Other complications include
Cirrhosis: It is a result of chronic liver disease that causes scarring of the liver and liver dysfunction.
Cholangitis: It is an infection of the common bile duct, which carries bile from the liver to gallbladder and then to intestine.
Ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan is used to diagnose gallstones. Medicines are given to dissolve the stones and analgesics to relive pain. If the pain succumbs your doctor would suggest for surgery.
Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is most commonly used. In this technique, the surgeon makes several tiny incisions in the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope and a miniature video camera. The camera sends a magnified image from inside the body to a video monitor, giving the surgeon a close-up view of the organs and tissues. While watching the monitor, the surgeon uses surgical instruments to carefully separate the gallbladder from the liver, bile ducts, and other structures. Then the surgeon removes the gallbladder through one of the small incisions.
If gallstones are formed in the bile ducts, the physician (usually a gastroenterologist) may use endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to locate the gallstone and remove them before or during the gallbladder surgery.