JOPLIN, Mo. — Gallstones can be painful, often leading to surgery to remove the gallbladder.
A look at the symptoms and how the surgery can impact your health in this Freeman Medical Focus.
“It stores bile in between meals. The bile is produced by the liver and the gallbladder will store it, and when you eat a meal the gallbladder is triggered to squeeze and empty and it gives you a little bit extra bile into your intestine, which helps you digest mostly fatty food,” said Dr. Brock Carney, Freeman Surgeon.
But too much cholesterol in the bile can cause problems.
“And it becomes crystallized it can form into gall stones, and those stones can get stuck you can form several stones in the gallbladder but only takes one to get stuck, where the gallbladder empties into the bile duct, and that causes symptoms.”
If a stone stays too long, it can lead to a bad infection.
“The classic symptoms are pain on the right upper side just under the ribs almost always after eating a meal, sometimes it can happen at night, It’s frequently associated with nausea, and sometimes vomiting.”
Since you can survive without the organ, the solution usually involves removing the gall bladder.
Patients can generally return to normal activity levels after a short recovery period.
“It’s one of the most common surgeries we do,” said Dr. Carney.
The Freeman Medical Focus was sponsored by Freeman Health System.