Any guesses what this is a picture of?
Hint: they are found in your body.
If you guessed gallstones, you are correct. This is a pictures of some of the gallstones that our practice has removed over the last 3 years.
Gallstones come in 2 main forms. The most common type of stones are from cholesterol. Occasionally they can be formed from blood remnants(called pigmented stones).
Most people with gallstones never have symptoms and don’t need treatment (astronauts and people who are in remote areas for prolonged periods of time may need their gallbladder removed even without symptoms). When patients start having symptoms it usually is pain in the right upper abdomen or right below the rib cage. It is common for people to think they are having a heart attack.
The pain will often start from a few minutes to a few hours after eating a fatty meal and last for several hours. After a first attack, it may be days, weeks, months, or even years until the next attack. The attacks will become more frequent until the pain eventually is constant.
There is no good treatment, other than removal of the gallbladder (recommended in most patients who start having symptoms). This typically is done through four small incisions as an outpatient (same day surgery).
Please call if you would like to schedule and consult with one of our experienced surgeons about your gallbladder.