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Gall Bladder Stones

What are Gall Bladder Stones?

Gall bladder Stones, also known as Gallstones, form when bile stored in the gallbladder hardens into stone-like material. Too much cholesterol, bile salts or bilirubin (bile pigment) can cause gallstones. When gallstones are present in the gallbladder itself, it is called cholelithiasis. When gallstones are present in the bile ducts, it is called choledocholithiasis. Gallstones that obstruct bile ducts can lead to a severe or life-threatening infection of the bile ducts, pancreas or liver.

There are mainly two types of Gall Bladder Stones:

  • Cholesterol stones
  • Pigment stones 
What causes gallstones?

Cholesterol stones are believed to form when bile contains too much cholesterol, too much bilirubin, not enough bile salts, or when the gallbladder does not empty as it should for some other reason. Pigment stones tend to develop in people who have cirrhosis, biliary tract infections and hereditary blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. The causes of these stones are uncertain. 

What are the symptoms of Gall Bladder Stones?

Gallstones may or may not show any symptoms. But when gallstones get stuck in the bile duct and cause blockage, they show symptoms, namely:

  • Sudden and severe intensifying pain in the upper right portion or centre of your abdomen
  • Back pain below your shoulder blades
  • Pain in right shoulder
  • Nausea or vomiting 
How can Gall Bladder Stones be treated?

Surgery to remove Gall Bladder (Cholecystectomy) along with stone