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Gallstones – The 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions and Misinterpretations

Most Frequently Asked Questions about Gallstones, Gallstone Treatment in Koramangala

Gallstone Treatment in Koramangala, Bangalore by Dr. Manas Tripathy

Gallstones are a common digestive disorder found in 15 percent of people ages 50 and about 10% of the population worldwide. The standard treatment is the removal of the gallbladder when severe symptoms exist. Whereas, you do not need any surgery if you do not have any symptoms. 

There are misbeliefs around gallstones found on social media or the internet that are not correct and harmful for people blindly following the available information. In this article, we will look at some resolutions for misconceptions and frequently asked questions about gallstones to make the correct decision. 

1. What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are gravel-like deposits made of bilirubin, cholesterol, or calcium salts found as a mixture found in your gallbladder. The size of the stones may vary from a rice grain to the size of a golf ball, with different numbers and sizes.

There are two types of gallstones:

Pigment Stones-These contain bilirubin salts and are found rarely. This type is present in patients with biliary tract infections, liver cirrhosis, or any blood disorder.

Cholesterol Stones-It is the most common type that occurs when the liver produces more cholesterol. 

Difficulties caused by gallstones, Gallstone Treatment in Koramangala, Bangalore

2. What are the difficulties caused by Gallstones? 

The main symptoms that people experience are pain in the stomach under the rib cage and the back of your shoulder. There can be episodes of nausea and vomiting also. You may have a severe stomach ache that can last for many hours once you have a fatty meal. But, if you experience pain due to longstanding gallbladder inflammation, you are also prone to jaundice and fever.  

3. What are my chances of getting Gallstones?

You are more likely to have gallstones if you,

  • Are you over forty years of age
  • Are a woman
  • Are pregnant
  • Are obese
  • Have diabetes
  • Eat a diet high in fats
  • Lose weight quickly
  • Have a family history of gallbladder stones?
  • Take cholesterol-lowering medications
  • Take medicines for hormone replacement or contraception.
Can drinking water flush out my Gallstones, Gallstone Treatment in Koramangala

4. Can drinking plenty of water flush out my Gallstones?

Gallstones are not similar to kidney stones. Kidney stones form within the kidneys and can flush out through urine with sufficient water intake. But, gallstones are formed inside the gallbladder under your liver. Accordingly, drinking plenty of water does not remove gallstones but can harm you, and you are required to visit the hospital if you experience extreme pain.

5. Are there any alternative medications to try first?

Presently, there are no alternate medicines that can help you relieve gallstones. You are prone to serious complications like jaundice, cholangitis, cholecystitis, gangrene, pancreatitis, gallbladder cancer, or any other gallbladder-related complications, that may increase by 1-3% by the next decade even after diagnosis. Hence, gallbladder removal surgery is the only practical option.

6. Do Gallstones require treatment?

Some gallstones do not need any treatment. But, if you have gallstones that are more than 3 cm in size and are asymptomatic, or incidentally diagnosed during a checkup, the doctor would suggest eliminating the gallbladder to avoid any further complications.

7. Are there any complications involved in removing the Gallstones while retaining the gallbladder?

Stones in the gallbladder indicate poor health. So, many undergo surgery for gallstone removal. But, there are chances of non-surgical treatments in case of any medical conditions. Few methods include,

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Shock wave lithotripsy
  • Oral dissolution therapy

The above treatments are for the extraction of cholesterol stones alone that may recur after several months even with subsiding symptoms compelling you to take regular gallstones treatment for a longer time.

How are Gallstones treated, Gallstone Treatment in Koramangala
How are Gallstones treated, Gallstone Treatment in Koramangala

8. How are Gallstones treated?

Gallbladder removal is carried out through cholecystectomy. It is the standard treatment for gallstone removal and is done in two ways.

Open Surgery 

In the case of gallbladder inflammation, infection, or scarring from previous surgery then open surgery is the best solution. It is the best option when laparoscopic surgery is not possible. You are likely to stay in hospital for about a week and may resume your daily activities after a month.

Laparoscopic Surgery

This is the most sought after option for gallbladder removal because,

  • It requires three small incisions, so there is less scarring
  • Can be treated as an outpatient 
  • Less postoperative discomfort and pain
  • Less medication
  • Requires hospitalization for 1-2 days
  • Speedy recovery

9. What are the harmful effects post gallbladder surgery?

The gallbladder is an indispensable organ. The primary function of the gallbladder is to store bile juices that aid digestion. In most cases, there are not many serious harmful after effects. But, some people might complain of stomach pain, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, and gas that can be treated with medication after consulting a doctor. 

10. Should I consider a second opinion before deciding on surgery?

The symptoms experienced by gallstones are not distinctive and are common to other medical conditions. Taking a second option from a reliable source in such cases is highly beneficial and makes a huge impact to make a knowledgeable choice. 

Gallstone Treatment in Koramangala , Bangalore by Dr. Manas Tripathy

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