If your gallstones are causing painful symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery to have your gallbladder removed entirely, called a cholecystectomy. It sounds extreme, but don’t worry—you can function without it.
Gallstones are tiny hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can be as tiny as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. They become troublesome when they get lodged in a duct, creating a blockage.
The function of your gallbladder is to hold a fluid called bile that is made in the liver. Bile gets released into your small intestine when you eat to give your body a hand in digesting fats and certain vitamins. If you’ve had a cholecystectomy, the bile your liver makes will flow straight into your small intestine. This direct route to your intestine can have a laxative effect. Ask your doctor about post-cholecystectomy changes to your diet to minimize problems.
Gallstone Diagnosis at Inspira
If you have the following symptoms of a gallbladder attack, make an appointment with an Inspira doctor so they can order an ultrasound exam to diagnose gallstones:
- Back pain between your shoulder blades
- Low-grade fever or chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in your right shoulder
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen
- Tea-colored urine with light-colored stools
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)