About the condition
Gallstones are small, pebble-liked substances which are formations of the hardened deposits of digestive fluid in the gallbladder. There are 2 types of gallstones: cholesterol gallstones and pigment gallstones. Cholesterol stones are usually yellow-green and made of hardened cholesterol. Pigments stones are small dark stones made of bilirubin.
Causes of the condition
The causes are not clear. However, it may be due to excessive amounts of cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile and because the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough.
Signs & symptoms
- There may be no signs or symptoms
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of abdomen
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the centre of abdomen just below the breastbone
- Back pain between the shoulder blades
- Pain in the right shoulder
- Pain may last several minutes to a few hours
- Clay coloured stool
Diagnosis and treatment options
Test and diagnosis
Abdominal ultrasound or computerised tomography (CT) scan, tests to check bile ducts for gallbladders and blood tests to investigate for complications.
Cholecystectomy will be performed to surgically remove the gallbladder.