Gallstones

Your treatment plan for gallstones depends on how the symptoms are affecting your daily life. If you do n’t have any symptoms, active monitoring is frequently recommended. This means you wo n’t receive immediate treatment, but you should let your GP know if you notice any symptoms. As a general rule, the longer you go without symptoms, the less likely it is that your condition will get worse. You may need treatment if you have a condition that increases your gamble of developing complications, such as :

Reading: Gallstones

  • scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • high blood pressure inside the liver (this is known as portal hypertension and is often a complication of alcohol-related liver disease)
  • diabetes

discussion may besides be recommended if a scan shows high levels of calcium inside your gallbladder, as this can lead to gallbladder cancer in late life. If you have episodes of abdominal pain ( bilious colic ), treatment depends on how the annoyance affects your casual activities. If the pain is mild and infrequent, you may be prescribed painkillers to control foster episodes and be given advice about eating a goodly diet to help control the pain. If your symptoms are more dangerous and frequent, surgery to remove the gallbladder is normally recommended. The gallbladder is n’t an substantive organ and you can lead a normal life sentence without one. Some people may experience symptoms of bloat and diarrhea after eating fatso or spicy food. If certain foods gun trigger symptoms, you may wish to avoid them in the future .

Keyhole surgery to remove the gallbladder

If surgery is recommended, you ‘ll normally have keyhole operation to remove your gallbladder. This is known as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, 3 or 4 small cuts are made in your abdomen. One larger cut ( about 2 to 3cm ) is made by the belly button and the others ( each 1cm or less ) will be on the right side of your abdomen. Your abdomen is temporarily inflated using carbon dioxide boast. This is harmless and makes it easier for the surgeon to see your organs. A laparoscope ( a long, thinly telescope with a bantam light and video recording camera at the end ) is inserted through one of the cuts in your abdomen. This allows your surgeon to view the operation on a video recording monitor. They ‘ll remove your gallbladder using special surgical instruments. If it ‘s thought there may be gallstones in the bile duct, an roentgenogram or ultrasound scan of the bile duct is besides taken during the operation. If gallstones are found, they may be removed during keyhole surgery. If the operation ca n’t be done this way, or an unexpected complication occurs, it may have to be converted to open operation. After the gallbladder has been removed, the boast in your abdomen escapes through the laparoscope and the cuts are closed with dissolvable stitches and covered with dressings. Laparoscopic cholecystectomies are normally carried out under a cosmopolitan anesthetic, which means you ‘ll be unconscious during the operation and wo n’t feel any pain while it ‘s carried out. The mathematical process takes 60 to 90 minutes and you can normally go home the like day. Full convalescence typically takes around 10 days .

Single-incision keyhole surgery

Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a newer character of keyhole operating room used to remove the gallbladder. During this type of operating room, only 1 small cut is made, which means you ‘ll entirely have a unmarried scratch. But as this type of cholecystectomy has n’t been carried out american samoa frequently as conventional cholecystectomies, there are still some uncertainties about it. access to single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomies is besides limited because it needs an experience surgeon with specialist educate. Read more about single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ( NICE ) web site

Open surgery

A laparoscopic cholecystectomy may not be recommended if you :

  • are in the third trimester (the last 3 months) of pregnancy
  • are extremely overweight
  • have an unusual gallbladder or bile duct structure that makes a keyhole procedure difficult and potentially dangerous

In these circumstances, an open cholecystectomy may be recommended.

A 10 to 15cm ( 4 to 6in ) incision is made in the abdomen, underneath the rib, so the gallbladder can be removed. General anaesthetic is used, so you ‘ll be unconscious and wo n’t feel any trouble. open operation is good angstrom effective as laparoscopic operation, but it does have a longer recovery clock and causes more visible scar. Most people have to stay in hospital for up to 5 days. It typically takes 6 weeks to amply recover. Read more about recovering from gallbladder surgery .

Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP)

Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography ( ERCP ) is a routine that can be used to remove gallstones from the bile duct. The gallbladder is n’t removed during this operation, so any stones in the gallbladder will remain unless they ‘re removed using other surgical techniques. ERCP is exchangeable to a diagnostic cholangiography ( see diagnosing gallstones for more information ), where an endoscope ( a long, reduce elastic tube with a camera at the end ) is passed through your mouth down to where the bile duct opens into the little intestine. But during ERCP, the hatchway of the bile duct is widened with a little swerve or an electrically heated wire. The bile duct stones are then removed or left to pass into your intestine and out of your body. sometimes a humble tube called a stent is permanently placed in the bile duct to help the bile and stones bye. ERCP is normally carried out under sedation, which means you ‘ll be conscious throughout the procedure but wo n’t experience any trouble. The routine lasts about 30 minutes on average, but can take from 15 minutes to over an hour. Afterwards, you may need to stay in hospital overnight therefore you can be monitored .

Medicine to dissolve gallstones

If your gallstones are small and do n’t contain calcium, it may be possible to take ursodeoxycholic acid tablets to dissolve them. But these aren’t prescribed very much because :

  • they’re rarely very effective
  • they need to be taken for a long time (up to 2 years)
  • you can get gallstones again after treatment is stopped

side effects of ursodeoxycholic acid are uncommon and are normally balmy. The most normally reported side effects are feeling ghastly, being nauseated and antsy bark. Ursodeoxycholic acid is n’t normally recommended for meaning or breastfeed women. sexually active women should either use a barrier method acting of contraception, such as a condom, or a low-dose estrogen contraceptive pill while taking ursodeoxycholic acidic, as it may affect other types of oral contraceptive pills. Ursodeoxycholic acerb tablets may occasionally be used to prevent gallstones if it ‘s thought you ‘re at hazard of developing them. For example, ursodeoxycholic acerb may be prescribed if you have recently had weight loss surgery, as rapid weight personnel casualty can cause gallstones to grow .

Diet and gallstones

In the past, people with gallstones who were n’t desirable for surgery were sometimes advised to adopt a very low-fat diet to stop the gallstones growing. But late evidence suggests this is n’t helpful because rapid weight loss resulting from a very low-fat diet can actually cause gallstones to grow. This means that if surgery is n’t recommended or you want to avoid having an operation, it ‘s advisable to adopt a healthy, balanced diet based on The Eatwell Guide. This involves eating a variety show of foods, including moderate amounts of fat, and having regular meals.

A healthy diet wo n’t cure gallstones or wholly eliminate your symptoms, but it can improve your general health and help control trouble caused by gallstones. Read more about goodly feed .
page stopping point reviewed : 19 November 2021
Next review due : 19 November 2024

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