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Best Hospital for Treatment of Gallstones in Chennai | Tambaram
What are Gallstones?
Gallstones are small stone-like materials found in the gall bladder. The gall bladder is a small sac that contains the bile, which is the digestive fluid produced by the liver to break down and digest fats.
Gallstones are made of hardened bile. The bile is made up of cholesterol, water, fats, bile salts and bilirubin (red blood cells waste product). If the bile contains high levels of cholesterol, bilirubin or bile salts, it becomes less aqueous and therefore hardens into stones.
Gallstones can be present as one large gallstone, the size of a golf ball, or as little stones, or even a combination of both. There are two types of gallstones:
Gallstones are caused by an imbalance in the bile components.
Cholesterol gallstones are caused by increased levels of cholesterol and bilirubin in the bile, as well as reduced levels of bile salts.
Pigment stones tend to occur in people who suffer from liver cirrhosis, infection of the biliary tract, and genetic blood disorders.
There are also other reasons that trigger the formation of gallstones, and these include:
Cholesterol-reducing drugs which lowers the cholesterol levels in the blood but in the meantime lead to increased secretion of cholesterol in the bile
Excess oestrogen levels
Gender – Women aged between 20 and 60 years are more prone to gallstones formation than men
Increasing age (>60 years)
Obesity which can leads to high levels of cholesterol in the bile
Rapid weight loss
The mere presence of gallstones is believed to initiate the formation of more gallstones.
The symptoms of gallstones depend on the size, severity and location of your gallstones, and they include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Clay-coloured stools
- Fever and chills
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sharp pain in the upper abdomen
The symptoms of gallstones usually occur after having a fatty meal, and at night. Some people though don’t show any symptoms. They are said to have silent stones, and these stones do not affect the gall bladder, liver or pancreas function.
The treatment of gallstones depends on your age and your general health. Your doctor will recommend the suitable treatment for your specific condition. The gallstones can be left untreated, or they can be removed using the following methods:
In most cases, you will be able to go back home on the day of the procedure – particularly if your treatment was carried out using a staple technique, as this does not leave an open wound. If you do have a wound, it will be several weeks before this heals completely.
Cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal)
Medication to dissolve small gallstones
Sphincterotomy, which involves cutting the sphincter (the muscle between the common bile duct and the duodenum) to allow better access to the common bile duct (the bile duct is the tube that carries bile from the liver to the gall bladder and intestines)