Gallbladder stones

Adresse

Switzerland

Christian Toso
Professor
Christian Toso
Head of Division

The formation of stones in the gallbladder or in the bile ducts is common. These stones are present in about 10% of the population without causing any pain or complications in the majority of cases. Only 15 to 25% of people with stones will develop symptoms over a period of 10 to 15 years.

Painful symptoms of gallbladder stones

Sometimes, gallstones occlude the cystic duct that connects the gallbladder to the bile ducts, which causes painful attacks (named biliary colic), often after a fatty meal. These pains are sharp and localized under the ribs on the right side.

The presence of the stones can be detected by abdominal ultrasound. 

In addition to pain after meals, gallbladder stones can cause acute cholecystitis , gallstones in the bile ducts or even biliary pancreatitis

The treatment of symptomatic gallstones is surgical

The treatment of symptomatic (painful) gallbladder stones consists in cholecystectomy . This operation helps preventing pain recurrence, as well as the potential occurrence of gallstone-related complications. The operation performed if possible by laparoscopy under general anesthesia, is done in the outpatient clinic, or depending on the patient's condition, with a hospital stay. In rare cases, the procedure must be performed by laparotomy

INFO + 
Removal of the gallbladder or cholecystectomy (FR)
Read about the latest surgical technologies

Acute cholecystitis
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Inflammation of the gallbladder
Gallstones in the bile ducts
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migration of stones into the bile drainage pathways
Biliary pancreatitis
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Inflammation of the pancreas
INFO + Acute pancreatitis
Cholecystectomy
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surgical procedure removing the gallbladder
Laparoscopy
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A surgical technique using small incisions and insertion of a camera
Laparotomy
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Open surgery of the abdomen

More information

Last update : 03/01/2022