Gallbladder Stones - Symptoms And Treatments - Bansal Hospital

What Are The Symptoms And Treatments Of Gallbladder Stones?

What Are The Symptoms And Treatments Of Gallbladder Stones

Most of you might know about urinary bladder stones and kidney stones. However, there is still an absence of awareness about gallbladder stones, which can cause shooting pain and severe complications. 

The first step should be to comprehend the location of the gallbladder and its functions, to understand the occurrence and cause of gallstones. Gallbladder is located below the liver, in the upper right abdomen. It is a small hollow, pear-shaped organ. 

It is responsible for storing bile (digestive fluids) delivered to the small intestine through the bile duct. Bile juice helps digest fatty meals and is a significant part of the digestive process. 

What Are Gallstones?

Gallstones are hardened, solidified substances that are found in bile. They are made of thickened digestive fluids such as cholesterol. The major problem in the gallbladder occurs when there is a blockage in the bile duct, much like gallstones

Stones in the gallbladder are prevalent in India, with 3-5% rates in adults. It is commonly found in people above the age of 40. However, the instances of gallstones in children are just 2% of the population. As per a study, the symptoms of this condition are 20 times higher in North India compared to South India. 

Even with such rates of prevalence, the condition is primarily asymptomatic. However, around 10% of those who are diagnosed develop the symptoms within the period of 5 years. 

Related Blog: Tips to avoid unhealthy food

What Are The Symptoms Of Gallbladder Stones?

The primary symptom of gallstones is pain caused in the upper right abdomen or the centre of the stomach. The pain can occur anytime, but it almost always happens when you consume fatty foods. Although It may last a few hours, it can be incredibly severe. 

If the condition is left untreated, the symptoms can increase to the following. 

High temperature or fever


Rapid heart rate

Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whitening of the eyes)


Itchy skin

Loss of appetite

The symptoms can also signify gallbladder infection or inflammation of the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. In addition, the symptoms may imitate signs of other conditions. Therefore it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before coming to conclusions. 

The gallstones can be asymptomatic, which is the case in most people. The stones don’t mainly cause pain. Instead, it is caused when there is a blockage in the movement of bile. 

Related Blog: Stomach cancer- The threat to your gut

What Are The Reasons For Gallbladder Stones?

Gallstones are believed to be caused due to the chemical imbalance of bile. Although there’s no apparent reason for this chemical imbalance, it could be due to the following possible reasons. 

Excessive cholesterol in bile can develop cholesterol stones, mostly yellow in colour. It is developed because your liver makes more cholesterol than dissolvable by your bile.

Excessive bilirubin in bile as the gallbladder cannot break excessive bilirubin leading to hard dark brown to black stones. Bilirubin is a chemical that breaks down red blood cells. It passes through the liver and is then excreted out of the body. Due to certain conditions, such as liver damage, the liver produces excessive bilirubin.

Overly concentrated bile can lead to the formation of stones. The gallbladder should not be filled with bile content. It should be able empty its bile to function correctly.

What Are The Treatment Available For Gallbladder Stones?

Most treatments are not required when there isn’t pain in the case of gallstones. They may pass without any noticeable instance. However, if there’s pain, your doctor may suggest surgery and, in rare cases, medications. 

If you’re prone to severe complications due to surgery, your doctor may suggest a few non-surgical ways. If you do not opt for surgery, you’re likely at risk of getting gallstones again. Unfortunately, this will be the case for the majority of your life. 

1. Surgery

The only surgical option for gallstone treatment is the removal of the gallbladder, the process of which is also known as cholecystectomy. Since it isn’t an essential organ, living without it is possible. There are two types of cholecystectomy which are described below.

• Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy– In this procedure, the patient is first given a dose of anaesthesia. Then the surgeon makes 3-4 incisions in the abdomen. A small device is inserted into one of the incisions to check for gallbladder. Then, it checks for stones and removes the organ. The patient can go home typically the same day after the surgery.

Open Cholecystectomy– This is a traditional way of cholecystectomy in which the surgeon makes a 6-inch incision in the abdomen, the tissues and muscles are pulled back, and the gallbladder is removed. The patient may be allowed to go home two or three days after the surgery.

This surgery is performed when any problem occurs in laparoscopic cholecystectomy or when or when the organ is inflamed or infected.  After the surgery, bile goes directly through the route of the liver and becomes less concentrated. Although, as an immediate result, diarrhoea can be caused, it is often resolved on its own in most people.  

2. Non-surgical Treatment Options 

If surgery can’t be performed due to some reason, such as the old age of the patient. Then, there are certainly other options that the doctor may opt for. 

• Oral Dissolution Therapy– It includes using medications to break down gallstones. The medicines contain bile acid that breaks up the stones and is the most suitable treatment for breaking stones formed by cholesterol. However, it might take months and years to eliminate them.

• Shock Wave Lithotripsy– It is a treatment that uses a machine to generate shock waves that pass through a person, further breaking down gallstones. 

• Percutaneous Drainage- It involves using a sterile need into the organ to draw out bile. A tube is inserted to clear out excessive drainage. This option is used only for those who are not suitable for other procedures. 

The Final Say

The gallbladder is not an essential organ. However, if conditions such as gallstones are not treated, it may cause further complications. In addition, certain people are at more risk of developing gallbladder stones than others depending upon factors such as age, sex, genes, and family history. 

People shouldn’t still do self-diagnoses and come to any conclusions. Even if there are no symptoms, and this condition shows up in your routine check-up, your healthcare provider should handle it. Bansal Hospital Bhopal has the most credible team of experts in the department of gastroenterology who provides accurate diagnoses and treatment. 

Covid Center