Gallstone - Overview, Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Gallstones are solid particles that form in the gallbladder. Stones form as a result of the crystallization of bile, a fluid produced by the liver and secreted into the bowel via the bile ducts to aid in the digestion of fats.

Some gallstones do not cause any symptoms. If a gallstone blocks the gallbladder or the bile duct, it can cause inflammation and pain in the right upper abdomen, upper right shoulder, or between the shoulder blades that can last from a few minutes to several hours. Nausea and vomiting, as well as fever and chills, are some of the other symptoms. Cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder.

What causes gallstones?

There has been progressing in understanding the formation of gallstones. Gallstones can be caused by any of the following:

  • body chemistry inherited
  • body mass index
  • movement of the gallbladder (the gallbladder is a muscular sac that contracts)
  • diet and lifestyle

What are the signs and symptoms of gallstones?

Gallstones can cause what are known as "silent stones." According to studies, the majority of patients with silent stones may not have any symptoms at all for a time, remaining symptom-free for years and requiring no treatment. Silent stones may be unnoticed until they cause trouble.

  • Acute pain, perhaps severe, that arrives suddenly. It might last a few minutes or several hours.
  • Pain is generally felt below your breastbone, although it can also occur in the upper right abdomen.
  • Soreness between your shoulder blades
  • Fever and chills
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • It is very unusual for attacks to occur weeks, months, or even years apart.

Types of Gallstone

Gallstones come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Gallstones are classified into three types:

Mixed stones. They are composed of cholesterol and salts. Mixed stones tend to develop in batches

Cholesterol stones are mostly composed of cholesterol, a fat-like molecule that is essential in numerous metabolic processes. Cholesterol stones can develop to the size of bile ducts.

Pigment stones Bile is greenish-brown in color due to the presence of certain pigments. Gallstones formed from bile pigment are often tiny and abundant.

Gallstones diagnosis

general examinations, such as physical examinations and x-rays

Ultrasound - sound waves create an image that reveals the existence of gallstones.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is a type of endoscope test (ERCP). To increase the quality of x-ray images, a small tube is inserted through the esophagus and injects dye into the intestine.

Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan Is a form of nuclear scan that evaluates the gallbladder's function.

Magnetic resonance imaging cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) Is a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) body-imaging method (MRI). An MRI unit is used to scan a person's liver, biliary, and pancreatic systems.



Cholecystectomy is a frequent and normal surgery that involves the surgical removal of the gallbladder. It may be advised if the symptoms of gallstones are troubling. If the gallbladder is infected or has acute inflammation, antibiotics may be required before the gallbladder may be removed. The gallbladder is not required for the survival or digestion of food. When the gallbladder is removed, the liver continues to generate bile, which goes directly into the small intestine.

Open cholecystectomy

This is the "classic," but now less usual, surgical procedure for removing the gallbladder, and it is done under general anesthesia. Below the rib cage, a single incision is made. The surgeon may see the region and remove the gallbladder through the incision.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Although open cholecystectomy is also performed under general anesthesia, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is less invasive and far more prevalent. It has a shorter hospital stay and a speedier healing period (usually just one night). Telescope-like equipment (a laparoscope) is placed through one incision, allowing the surgeon to see the inside of the abdomen on a television display, and surgical instruments are inserted through other incisions. The gallbladder is identified and removed through a belly button incision.