The gallbladder is an important organ of the body. It is a crucial part of the digestive system. Unfortunately, under certain circumstances and lifestyle defects, it accumulates stones. These are further known as gallstones, causing severe pain and other health issues.
Before you know about gall bladder stone treatment, you should know what exactly gallstones are and how they are formed. Knowing their formation will help you choose the right treatment approach for you.
In this article, the focus is on surgical and nonsurgical treatments for gallbladder stones. A good doctor will not only help you take a therapeutic approach to gallstones, but he will also recommend preventive approaches for the condition.
What are gallstones?
The gall bladder is a small organ beneath the liver of your body. The gall bladder stores and releases bile, which plays a crucial role in digestion. The gall bladder is prone to gallstones or cholelithiasis. Gallstones can go from the size of a grain to the size of a golf ball.
Often these stones go undetected for a long time. Many patients do not even feel it until they start experiencing serious symptoms. Once the stone blocks the bile duct, the patient will experience much pain. This pain can only be resolved with proper treatment from a doctor.
Symptoms of Gallbladder stones
Some basic symptoms of gallbladder stones show you that you need gallbladder stone treatments right away. The most pressing signs of gallbladder stones are as follows-
· If you are facing sharp pain in your upper belly just below the ribs, it is a sign that you have gallbladder stones.
· Pain in your shoulder can also signify that you need treatment for a gallbladder stone.
· A frequently upset stomach can also be a sign of gallbladder stone.
· In severe cases, the gallstone can lead to fever and chills.
· Severe cases can also show up as vomiting and other digestive symptoms.
Gallstone treatment options
Before you look into gallstone treatment options, know that some gallstones can go undetected because of their size and sometimes pass in urine on their own. However, if you observe more than one symptom, as listed above, you should go for gallbladder treatment. In severe cases, the patient needs surgery. Many people with severe cases might go for complete removal of the bladder. The surgical options for gall bladder treatment are as follows-
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a modern surgical procedure in which the gall bladder is removed through keyhole surgeries or laparoscopic surgery. The doctor usually uses a camera and other viewing equipment to get to the gall bladder and removes it. The surgery is a minor one, and the patient can return home on the same day.
The surgeon or doctor might also recommend open cholecystectomy, which is the same as the previous procedure, but it happens through bigger incisions. You will have to stay in the hospital for some days before you go home for post-op recovery. When the gall stones are deep inside your bile ducts, the surgeon uses ERCP to find and remove them before or during the surgery. Open cholecystectomy is usually not done because there are more advanced surgical procedures.
Some doctors will take a nonsurgical approach to the condition, especially when your health condition does not allow surgery to happen. However, the gallstone treatment will take a lot of time to complete. The nonsurgical procedures for gallstone removal are as follows-
· Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)- The ERCP is a nonsurgical but invasive procedure that removes cholesterol stones without the entire surgical procedure. The ERCP procedure is a minor procedure to do under the supervision of a doctor.
· Oral dissolution therapy- Ursodiol and chenodiol are used to dissolve the gallstone. The medicinal formulations contain bile acids that dissolve the stones. The drug approach is mostly used to dissolve small stones. Bigger stones can take a lot of time and patience to dissolve fully under the drug approach.
· Shockwave lithotripsy- Shockwave treatment is rarely used for treatment. However, it can sometimes blast small gallstones into fragments for further treatment.
These are the treatment options for gallbladder stones. The patient should go for regular checkups with gastroenterologists so that stones are detected early. Sometimes changes in diet to include high-fibre foods can also prevent gallstone formation.