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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of gallbladder in the human body?

Gall bladder is a small organ that stores bile, a greenish liquid which is essential for breaking down the food we eat.

What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are (usually tiny, but sometimes larger) deposits of solid particles in the gallbladder. When there is too much cholesterol in the bile, gallstones are formed. Sometimes, gallstones also form because of calcium or bilirubin.

What are the symptoms of gallstones?

You must reach out to your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Acute pain in the abdomen extending to upper back or right shoulder

  • Shivering and fever

  • Jaundice

  • Clay coloured stools or dark urine

  • Severe nausea and vomiting

Are gallstones dangerous?

The extent of danger depends on the size of stones, and the amount of time they have been left untreated. Gallstones are so common that the treatment for them has progressed by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. The treatment for gallstones is quite simple and a surgery (if needed) takes a maximum of 30 minutes. However, delaying the treatment can be potentially hazardous.

What happens if gallstones are left untreated?

As long as you don’t have any discomfort or pain, you can ignore your gallstones. However, if you have pain, you should visit a doctor at the earliest. Leaving gallstones untreated for long can result in any of the following:

  • Stones in bile duct - untreated stones can pass on to bile duct causing severe pain, vomiting, and nausea. This can lead to blockage of both gallbladder and pancreas, which can cause a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis

  • Inflammation of bile duct: Due to gallstones, the bile duct sometimes gets swollen up. This can lead to high fever, chills and even jaundice. This inflammation can potentially spread to neighbouring organs causing severe problems.

  • Inflammation of gallbladder: Gallstones can cause swelling in the gallbladder also. This can cause infection, formation of pus and may even lead to death of the organ.

  • Cancer: Large gallstones when ignored, can also lead to the cancer of gallbladder or pancreas. 4 out of 5 people who are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer are diagnosed with gallstones early on.

Is there a cure for gallstones without surgery?

Yes, for a few cases, if the size of the stone is small (less than 1cm, but this varies across cases), stones can be dissolved by medication and by drinking plenty of water. At Ayu Health, our intent is to find the most optimal cure for our patients. The doctor will only recommend a surgical procedure if needed.

How is gallstones treated by surgery?

The most common treatment across the world for gallstones is gallbladder removal surgery, also known as Cholecystectomy. This is the shortest and the best way known to relieve discomfort caused by gallstones.

Is it OK to remove the entire gallbladder for treating gallstones?

Yes, absolutely. Removing the gallbladder does not really affect your life too much. The bile will directly flow from the liver into the small intestine. This can sometimes cause indigestion and loose stools. To avoid this, the only change you need to make after the surgery is changing your diet by decreasing the amount of oily, fatty and spicy food.

What is laparoscopic procedure?

Laparoscopic procedure for gallbladder removal involves the use of a laparoscope, a long, thin probe that allows for the surgery to be done with a very small incision. The procedure lasts for <30 minutes and patients are typically able to resume normal routine from the very next day!

Are there any advantages of laparoscopic procedure over traditional procedure?

Laparoscopic procedure is typically favoured by surgeons these days as it is a faster procedure (<30 minutes), involves <1 cm cut / incision which significantly reduces infection risk, and allows for a faster recovery. Patients can typically resume normal routine from the very next day.

Is laparoscopic procedure covered by insurance?

Yes, most insurance schemes cover laparoscopic cholecystectomy. For more information on your scheme, you can contact our health representatives.

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