People suffering from gallbladder stones are often fearful of what awaits in the future. The first assurance that we are going to offer you is that there’s nothing much to worry about as long as you adhere to what the specialists ask you to do. Gallstones, as we know, are hardened deposits of what we call, a digestive fluid that might form inside your gallbladder.
Your gallbladder is a small yet functional pear-shaped internal organ located on the right side of your abdomen, just under your liver. When such fluid hardens, stones ranging in size from as small as a grain of salt to as large as a ping pong ball, singular as well as multiple stones, might be formed in your gallbladder.
Depending on your conditions, you will require specific gallbladder stone treatment options. Continue reading to know more about the diagnosis process and treatment options. Don’t let fear take over your sanity. Just listen to your doctor.
Diagnosing Gallbladder Stones
There are different kinds of gallstone detection tests and procedures. These techniques will enable you to define the complications of your condition and how you can approach treating it. Here are the different diagnosis processes:
1. Abdominal ultrasound
This particular test is among the most commonly used techniques to look for signs of gallstones if any. The abdominal ultrasound process involves moving a device, named transducer, back and forth across the area that shelters your stomach. The transducer communicates with a computer using signals that create images, which shows your abdominal structure.
2. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
This specific procedure helps in identifying smaller stones that might have been missed during an abdominal ultrasound. During the EUS, your doctor would pass a thin yet flexible tube, generally known as an endoscope, through your mouth. The same process might be issued through your digestive tract. Now, a transducer produces sound waves, which, in turn, creates a precise image of the surrounding tissues.
3. Other imaging tests
Additional tests might be conducted in order to get access to the data belonging to the internal parts of your body, which in turn, allows the doctors to find out whether there are any gallstones present in your body. This list of the test includes oral cholecystography, HIDA (hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid) scan, CT (computerized tomography) scan, MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) scan, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Gallstones that are discovered during the ERCP scan can be removed during the procedure.
4. Blood tests
Like any other ailments, gallbladder stones can also be detected using blood tests. However, that is not always the case. The blood test would generally allow the doctors to figure out the traces of complications and infections caused by the gallstone if any. Blood tests help in revealing infections, signs of jaundice, pancreatitis, or any other complications fuelled by gallstones.
Gallbladder Stone Treatment Procedures
Now, let’s come to the most important part of the discussion; the treatment of gallbladder stones. We need to be sure about one thing in the beginning. People with gallbladder stones who don’t really feel any of its symptoms aren’t required to go through any specific treatment processes. Whether you will need any treatment, will solely depend on your doctor’s decision. And he will determine it by understanding the type of stone developed in your gallbladder and the ranges of its symptoms. Again, you don’t need treatment if there are no symptoms.
Your doctor might recommend you to stay alert for any early symptoms of gallstone complications. These symptoms may include the intensifying of pain inside your upper right abdomen. In case the gallstone signs and symptoms arise in the near future, you must go through treatment.
Here are the various treatment options for gallbladder stones:
Surgery: A surgery is often essential for getting rid of the gallbladder or the cholecystectomy. Your doctor might recommend surgery to remove your entire gallbladder as a means of ensuring protection against further stone development. This measure is taken because gallstones might frequently recur over time. Once the gallbladder is removed from the system, the bile directly flows from your liver to your small intestine. In this case, it doesn’t require to be stored in your gallbladder.
In this scenario, one of the most popular questions that people ask is whether they would face any issue in their daily lives in the absence of their gallbladder. Well, in that case, we must assure you that the absence of gallbladder doesn’t restrict you from living normally.
Its removal doesn’t impact your digestive abilities as well. However, there is a slight probability of diarrhea, although it is generally temporary.
Medications: We might use medicines for dissolving gallstones. You would require to take the medication using your mouth. In this scenario, you will need some weeks, months, or even years to completely eradicate the existing stones. Remember, if you stop taking the medications, gallstones may form again in the future.You must keep it in mind that medications are not always preventive. This particular gallbladder stone treatment technique is suitable for only those who aren’t mentally and physically strong enough to undergo surgery.