Why do we develop gallstones?

A chemical imbalance in the composition of bile causes Gallstones. Majority of Gallstones are made up of cholesterol and bile pigment called bilirubin.

Who is more likely to develop gallstones?

Some known predisposing factors are female gender, pregnancy, obesity, rapid weight loss, family history, Crohn’s disease, Irritable bowel, sickle cell and other haemolytic anaemias.

What are the treatment options?

Low fat diet is known to improve symptoms in significant proportion of patients; however it doesn’t eliminate the Gallstones or their symptoms altogether. Some medications are known to help dissolve them but these medications need to be taken for several months which might cause side effects and their success rate is low.

Can I live a normal life without gallbladder?

You can live perfectly normal life without Gallbladder. The function of Gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile. After Gallbladder removal, bile directly flows from liver to small bowel.

A very small proportion of patients can develop new or persisting symptoms after Gallbladder removal surgery called ‘post cholecystectomy Syndrome’. Appropriate investigations and careful decision making with the help of a specialist reduce the incidence of such complications.

When should I consider gallbladder removal surgery?

Symptoms caused by Gallstones are independent of size and number of Gallstones. They could range from a very minor ache to debilitating pains. Early treatment in patients who have frequent symptoms from Gallstones could save them from major complications. Please consult a specialist to discuss.