Located next to the liver, the gallbladder is a pouch that stores the green-yellow bile produced by the liver. Composed of fatty substances like cholesterol, the gallbladder releases this bile into the intestines to help us digest.
When bile contains excessive amounts of fat, it forms into crystals. After time, these crystals can combine and become gallstones. Occurring more often in women, gallstones come in many sizes. When gallstones are initially formed, eighty percent of people have no symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms of Gallstones
- Pain in upper right abdomen
- Pain localized in right shoulder or chest
- Jaundice: yellow eyes and skin
- Cholecystitis: gallbladder infection
- Cholangitis: bile duct infection
- Sepsis: blood infection
- Pancreatitis: inflammation
When to See a Doctor about Gallstones
- If pain of gallbladder attack lasts more than one to two hours
- Persistent pain or gallstone attacks
Diagnosis of Gallstones
- Physical exam
- Abdominal ultrasound
- CT scan
- Nuclear scan
- ERCP X-ray test
Treatment Options for Gallstones
- Removal of the gallbladder
- Open cholecystectomy
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
- Dissolution of gallstones
Even though it helps us digest, we can live a normal life without a gallbladder.
You can trust the highly experienced, board-certified gastroenterologists at Atlantic Digestive Specialists to provide you with personal care and the latest diagnostic and treatment capabilities. Experts in treating gallstones, contact us now.