What is the treatment for gall bladder stones?
The gallbladder looks like a draw-string purse positioned below the liver. Like a purse, it stores chemicals (enzymes) produced by the liver and released into the intestines to help you break up the fatty foods you eat. Occasionally, gallstones (cholelithiasis) are formed, and these may at times cause very severe pains. The pain usually develops after a fatty meal (like pizza, or fried chicken), and is primarily located in the right upper abdomen. It is often associated with a back discomfort and vomiting; if fever is noted, an infection of the gallbladder may have developed.
Gallstones do not always cause pains (become symptomatic); it is possible to live an entire life with gallstones and never have problems. Treatment is, therefore, not necessary if you are not having symptoms. But as the pains can be severe and unpredictable as to when they may arise, as well as life threatening complications can develop (infection, blockage of the liver, inflammation of the pancreas), treatment is most often recommended when symptoms develop.
Treatment is primarily considered if symptoms develop; the most definitive is to remove the gallbladder through surgery. Laparoscopy is the most common method, and this involves making four small wounds in the abdomen. It involves a short recovery period. Outside of surgery, other treatments such as drugs, special ultrasound therapy, and diet are not as effective. Best approach is to review with your Doctor all available options.
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