Gallbladder stones or gallstones often knock the door as a surgical emergency leading to pain. Here is a common story regarding gall stones that you can relate with.
It must have been eleven, eleven thirty in the night.
Radhika suddenly started having severe pain in her tummy. She sought help. Her husband Nikhil, gave her some antacid syrup and a pain killer. The pain persisted and she vomited.
Nikhil called up a surgeon who asked them to reach the hospital. She was admitted, an ultrasound was done in the morning and she got operated the same day. The next evening she was back home and comfortable.
So what exactly happened?
Radhika had cholelithiasis. She had stones in her gall bladder.
Stones in the gall bladder are one of the common causes for pain in the abdomen.
These stones start forming over the years and the first time you get to know about them is when you happen to get an ultrasound done. This could be during your medical checkup, during your pregnancy workup or when they hurt you, as in the case of Radhika.
The stones cause pain in the upper part of the stomach which can spread to the back also. Many experience bloating, indigestion or may vomit. Some experience fever with chills and in extreme cases may have jaundice.
An ultrasound is the investigation of choice. Since it is an easily available and harmless diagnostic tool therefore one should get it done as early as possible.
Once diagnosed to have gall stones the dilemma begins. Many think they are similar to kidney stones. Suggestions like, drink plenty of water, avoid certain types of fruits and vegetables start pouring in. But all this pertains to kidney stones. Remember gall bladder stones and kidney stones are totally different entities.
The only treatment for gall stones is surgery. The procedure is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy and it is one of the most commonly done procedures, the world over.
The surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, a kind of keyhole surgery. Your surgeon will advice a few basic tests prior to the operation, once operated a majority of the patients leave the hospital in a day or two. At home,there are no special restrictions , you are up and about and eating a near normal diet.
Just like Radhika and Nikhil, stay informed, stay connected and stay safe.