Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gallbladder holds a digestive fluid called bile that’s released into your small intestine.
People who experience symptoms from their gallstones usually require gallbladder removal surgery. Gallstones that don’t cause any signs and symptoms typically don’t need treatment.
Gallbladder stone symptoms
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
- Back pain between your shoulder blades
- Pain in your right shoulder
- Nausea or vomiting
Gallbladder stone causes
- Your bile contains too much cholesterol
- Your bile contains too much bilirubin
- Your gallbladder doesn’t empty correctly
factors such as:
- Being female
- Being age 40 or older
- Being a Native American
- Being a Mexican-American
- Being overweight or obese
- Being sedentary
- Being pregnant
- Eating a high-fat diet
- Eating a high-cholesterol diet
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Having a family history of gallstones
- Having diabetes
increase risk of this problem.
Gallbladder stone diagnosis
To diagnose this problem, doctor prescribes tests to create pictures of your gallbladder. abdominal ultrasound and a computerized tomography (CT) scan to create pictures of your gallbladder. These images can be analyzed to look for signs of gallstones.
Blood tests may reveal an infection, jaundice, pancreatitis or other complications caused by gallstones.
Gallbladder stone Treatment
Most people with gallstones that don’t cause symptoms will never need treatment. Your doctor will determine if treatment for gallstones is indicated based on your symptoms and the results of diagnostic testing.
Treatment options are as follows:
- Surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy)
- Medications to dissolve gallstones