Living with bile reflux disease? You are not alone. However, when I mention that I have bile reflux disease, eyebrows raise in prelude to a barrage of questions.
If your symptoms suggest a gallstone problem, your doctor might first examine your skin for jaundiceand then feel your abdomen to check for tenderness. A blood test may reveal evidence of an obstruction.
Because other digestive problems, such as an infection of the duct, can produce symptoms similar to those of a gallstone attack, the doctor may also run other tests to determine if gallstones are in fact the culprit.
The most common technique is an ultrasound exam.
This quick, painless procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the gallbladderbile duct, and their contents. CT scans are also sometimes done to look at the anatomy of your internal organs.
A more complicated test may be used if the doctor suspects that a gallstone is lodged in a bile duct. Commonly known by the acronym ERCP, this test allows the doctor to look at the bile duct through a small flexible tube called an endoscope.
Dye is injected through the tube and into the bile duct, and then the doctor takes X-rays. Stone removal can be done during this procedure as well. The procedure takes about an hour. What Are the Treatments for Gallstones? In most cases, treatment of gallstones is considered necessary only if you are having symptoms.
Of the various conventional treatments that are available, surgical removal of the gallbladder is the most widely used. Some alternative treatments have also been found to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of troublesome gallstones.
Conventional Medicine for Gallstones When deciding what course of action to take for symptomatic gallstones, doctors usually choose from among three main treatment options: Watchful waiting, nonsurgical therapy, and surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Gallstones and Watchful Waiting Though a gallstone episode can be extremely painful or frightening, almost a third to half of all people who experience an attack never have a recurrence.
In some cases, the stone dissolves or becomes dislodged and thereby resumes its "silence. Even when the patient has had repeated gallstone episodes, the doctor may postpone treatment or surgery because of other health concerns. Continued Nonsurgical Therapy for Gallstones If you are unable or unwilling to go through surgery for a gallstone problem that requires treatment, your doctor may recommend one of several noninvasive techniques.
Note that though these methods may destroy symptom-causing gallstones, they can do nothing to prevent others from forming, and recurrence is common.
Some gallstones can be dissolved through the use of a bile salt, although the procedure can be used only with stones formed from cholesterol and not from bile pigments. The drug Actigall ursodiol is taken as a tablet; depending on its size, the gallstone may take months or even years to go away.
Another nonsurgical technique, shock wave therapy, uses high-frequency sound waves to fragment the stones. Bile salt is administered afterward to dissolve small pieces.
This therapy is rarely used. Doctors can also attempt to remove gallstones during an ERCP. During the procedure an instrument is inserted through the endoscope to attempt removal of the stone.
While these therapies may work for some, all of the above nonsurgical therapies are usually unsuccessful long term since recurrence is common and are rarely advised in clinical practice.
Surgery to Remove the Gallbladder While the gallbladder serves an important function, it is not essential for a normal, healthy life. When gallstones are persistently troublesome, doctors often recommend removing the organ entirely.
This operation is considered among the safest of all surgical procedures. Each year approximatelyAmericans have their gallbladder removed.
It is also the only treatment method that eliminates the possibility that other gallstones will develop in the future.
When the gallbladder has been removed, bile flows directly from the liver into the small intestine, and this sometimes leads to diarrhea.Mar 30, · Cholesterol gallstones. More than 80% of gallstones in the United States contain cholesterol as their major component.
Liver cells secrete cholesterol into bile along with phospholipid (lecithin) in the form of small spherical membranous bubbles, termed unilamellar vesicles.
Aside from gallstones, studies have also proven the effectivity of bile salt supplements and it has been used together with other bile acid derivatives as therapeutic agents for treating chronic liver diseases, obesity, and diabetes.
If you've seen your doctor, he's probably diagnosed you with Acute Cholecystitis (an inflamed gallbladder, which is caused by gallstones forming inside that may have blocked one of the bile ducts).He's probably told you that the only solution is to have your gallbladder surgically removed.
If he's told you that. The common bile duct is a small, tube-like structure formed where the common hepatic duct and the cystic duct join. Its physiological role is to carry bile from the gallbladder and empty it into. Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
It’s estimated that over 50, new cases are diagnosed each year and over 40, people die because of this disease annually. The gallbladder serves mostly as a storage unit for bile, which is released from the liver to digest fats so they can be absorbed. During gallbladder surgery, your surgeon removes the gallbladder, usually because it has filled with gallstones.