Dubai General Surgery Clinic
Cholelithiasis – Important Facts To Know About The Ailment
- Cholelithiasis means having gallstones, is a common condition that generally affects older adults, women and overweight people.
- The gallbladder is a small pear shaped organ located in the right upper part of the abdomen just below the liver and plays a major role in the digestion of fats by storing the bile that helps in fat digestion and realising it through the bile duct to the small intestine.
- Often the flow of bile through the duct is blocked due to the development of gallstones, inflammation, or rarely a tumor resulting in the condition of cholithiasis.
What Causes Cholelithiasis
- Before gaining information about the most effective ways to treat and manage gallstones, it is important to understand what causes the condition in the first place.
- The most prominent of cholelithiasis causes is known to be the hardening of the bile substances, including cholesterol and bile pigments.
- Bile contains cholesterol along with bile salts and phosphatidylcholine, with the three components creating equilibrium within the organ.
- However, many times the concentration of cholesterol rises to the extent that it becomes supersaturated and leads to crystallization.
- The super saturation of cholesterol within the bile might also lead to the creation of a sludge comprised of cholesterol, mucin, calcium salts, besides bilirubin formation which ultimately leads to stone development.
Understanding The Symptoms
- A majority of patients suffering from cholelithiasis do not show any symptoms of the disease. However, some patients might experience symptoms such as biliary colic and pain in the right upper abdominal quadrant.
- Other cholelithiasis signs and symptoms might include a feeling of nausea or vomiting along with dyspepsia, burping, and food intolerance in the patients after they eat.
- These symptoms tend to become especially prevalent after the patients eat a heavy meal or have food containing high quantities of fat and grease, such as fried foods, meat and cheese.
- Given that the symptoms associated with cholelithiasis can also be caused by other ailments, most doctors rely on the results of imaging tests conducted specifically to confirm the condition or even for other health issues to confirm a diagnosis.
Treating The Condition
- Patients, who do not show any symptoms of cholelithiasis, might not need any treatment for the same.
- Alternately, the best method of cholelithiasis treatment is by removing the gall bladder through a surgical procedure. Thankfully, removing the organ does not disrupt the normal lifestyle of the patients in a prolonged way.
- Moreover, leaving the condition untreated for a long time can lead to serious health issues, which is why most doctors and even patients opt for the surgery.
Types Of Surgery
- There are two common methods of performing cholelithiasis surgery.
- The old technique is the open procedure, which is performed by making a single large cut around the upper right side of the abdomen for removing the gall bladder. This traditional method is fast but it is out of favour and only used in cases where laparoscopic cholecystectomy is not possible.
- The best technique is obviously the Laparoscopic cholecystectomy which is a minimally invasive procedure carried out by making multiple small incisions to excise the gall bladder along with the stone. It is the preferred option for every single patients nowadays.