Gallstones are a common ailment for many people, and most of us are quite familiar with the symptoms and how it can be treated by medical professionals. Gallstones are simply deposits of fluid from the digestive system which have hardened and been created in a person’s gallbladder, and their size can vary from minute and grain-like to as big as golf balls. There are those who develop only a single gallstone, but some others may develop several gallstones in their gallbladder at the same time. The symptoms associated with gallstones are quite easy to notice as well – pain (sudden as well as rapid) in the upper portion of the abdomen or pain in the abdomen’s centre, just beneath the breastbone, as well as back pain, pain in the right shoulder, and vomiting or nausea. If you have gallstones, however, you may be worried about how best to treat it. If you are keen on finding out more about your treatment options, here’s what you should know.
Your basic options
Most individuals who have gallstones don’t even know it, and they don’t require treatment until they begin feeling some symptoms and visit a medical specialist such as a gallbladder surgeon in London. But if you already have the symptoms and the presence of gallstones has been confirmed, your doctor will be the one to determine the kind of treatment you can have depending on the symptoms as well as diagnostic test results.
In general, most doctors or physicians will simply tell you to be alert if you start experiencing complications due to gallstones, such as intense pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen.
The array of treatment you can have
- Cholecystectomy (surgery). Surgery may be recommended by your physician so as to remove the gallbladder, because gallstones may recur, as confirmed by gallstones London experts from the London Surgical Group. If your gallbladder is already removed, the bile will flow straight from the liver to the small intestine instead of being kept in the gallbladder. Gallbladders aren’t necessary for survival, and if your gallbladder is removed, it will not affect your capability of digesting food. It may, however, result in diarrhoea on occasion.
- Medication. Medication is another method of treatment for gallstones, and with this, you can expect to take oral medication which may be able to dissolve the gallstones. Be aware, though, that this treatment method may take a long time – from a few months to several years – and new gallstones may once again form once you stop your treatment. Medications doesn’t always work, either, and the medication method is often used only for those who cannot go through surgery.
What you can expect
Once you have determined that you have gallstones and are considering your treatment options, you should know what to expect. It also pays to ask the right questions so you are more aware of what you can do with your condition. If you decide to undergo gallstone surgery (such as gallstone surgery in London from specialists like the London Surgical Group, which also specialise in inguinal hernia surgery, laparoscopic hernia repair in London, and more), you should be amply prepared for it so that the procedure can be a complete success.