Investigations usually take the form of an ultrasound scan and blood tests. In some circumstances an MRI scan or CT scan may be required.
Gallstones are very common and do not cause any problems in many people. If you have gallstones and have regular attacks of pain particularly after food it may be worth considering surgery and I would be happy to discuss this with you.
In some circumstances gallstones can cause more severe symptoms.
Sometimes the gallstones can cause your gallbladder to become inflamed and infected. This is a condition called acute cholecystitis. It causes severe pain, fever and you are generally unwell. Often people are admitted to hospital for intravenous antibiotics. In these circumstances it is wise to have your gallbladder and the stones removed to prevent further attacks.
Sometimes tiny stones can slip out of the gallbladder and cause inflammation of the pancreas. This can cause a life threatening condition called pancreatitis. If you have had pancreatitis and have gallstones it is wise to have your gallbladder removed.
Sometimes stones can slip out of the gallbladder and block the tube from your liver to your gut known as the bile duct. If this happens you may become jaundiced or “yellow”. Once the jaundice is treated it would be wise to have your gall bladder removed.
Removal of the gallbladder or “cholecystectomy” is one of the commonest operations performed world wide and it is usually done by key hole means.
The gallbladder is pealed away from the liver, a clip is placed at the bottom of it and it is cut away. It is then removed out of your body with the gallstones it contains through one of the “key holes”.
In general it is a very safe operation but there are some risks and I will go through these with you in clinic.
Read more about living without a gallbladder
Case Study: A patient with gallstones
Mrs SA had several admissions to her local NHS hospital with inflammation of her gallbladder. She felt like she was getting nowhere and was not being taken seriously by her consultant or her hospital and felt like she was seeing a different doctor each time.
She decided to see Mr Peravali at Little Aston Spire Hospital. Mr Peravali performed her operation within 2 weeks of seeing her. She had an uneventful operation and is over the moon with the results.
Videos about gallstone surgery
What happens during the consultation?
I’ve had abdominal pain that comes and goes for a while now. What is a the cause? Could it be gallstones?
What are gallstones and how are they treated?
So you been seen in the outpatients and it turns out that you have gallstones. But what exactly ARE gallstones and how are they treated?
What can I expect on the day of surgery?
What can I expect on the day of surgery? Will I need to stay in overnight? Will I have a big scar?
How is the gallbladder removed?
How exactly is the gallbladder removed? Is it a keyhole operation?
Can I live without my gallbladder?
Does it matter if I have my gallbladder removed? Can I still live life as normal?
Wound care after gallbladder surgery
Will I have stitches that need to be removed after my gallbladder operation?
Driving after gallbadder surgery
When will I be able to drive again after having my gallbladder removed?