General Surgery Blogs

Dr. Steven Williams in Boise, Idaho

26Jan

Is Your Pain Gallstones?

Dr. Steve Williams | gallstone, gallbladder, general surgery | General Surgery, Gallbladder Surgery | | View Counts (4992) |Return|

What Are Gallstones?

Gallstones are simply hard deposits that settle in the gallbladder. Sometimes, you don't even know that they are there, but at other times, one can become dislodged and try to travel through the duct, which can cause severe pain. 

There could be several small stones, or there might be larger stones that can sometimes cause pain as well if they rub along the interior of the gallbladder. Material in bile is what generally cases gallstones to form. Most of the stones that you would have are made of cholesterol.

If you have a diet that is high in fat, then you can almost guarantee that you will have gallstones at some point. Those who are overweight or who have a diet that is high in fiber are also at a higher risk of developing gallstones. Females, pregnant women and people with a history of the stones in the family are at a higher risk as well.

At times, you won't have any pain associated with gallstones. These are called silent stones and usually don't require any kind of treatment. However, if you begin to feel a sharp pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen or in the back, then you need to get the area examined.

Nausea & Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are also common with gallstones. The pain that you would have with gallstones is comparable to someone stabbing you with a knife or a sharp object. It is intense and lingers, shooting through the body in a sudden manner. It will usually begin out of nowhere and last until you get medication, such as morphine, to help the pain subside.

Diagnosis & Treatment

A CT scan of the abdomen is done to confirm that there are stones and to see how large they might be before surgery is performed. If the gallstones are severe and causing significant pain, then surgery is usually required as you can't pass gallstones.

The surgery is usually laparoscopic, which helps with the recovery time and decreases the scars that are left.

If you're having pain or issues that you suspect could be gallstones, please click here for our contact page to make an appointment.

Gallstone Surgery Boise | Boise General Surgery | Boise General Surgeon

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Practicing General Surgery in the Boise area since 2002