The gallbladder stores bile from the liver to distribute to the small intestine to break down fats during the digestive process. Certain substances in the bile, like calcium, cholesterol or salt, can combine together to create gallstones that can become stuck or trapped in the ducts, leaving the gallbladder or causing inflammation in this small organ. If you have gallstones, you may be at higher risk for many gallbladder issues. Gallstones treatment is available in Los Angeles at the office of Danny Shouhed, M.D., our highly experienced GI surgeon.
Causes and Symptoms of Gallstones
Many people can have gallstones and never have any symptoms or problems. Gallstones tend to form when the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough. There are risk factors that can contribute to the formation of gallstones. Some of these risk factors include obesity, diabetes, age over 60, females, genetics and liver disease.
While you can have gallstones without any symptoms, these stones can become as large as a golf ball and cause irritation, infection or other gallbladder problems. If a gallstone is pushed into the duct leading to the small intestine, it can become wedged in the duct. This condition is called choledocholithiasis, a blockage of the bile duct. Gallstones can also cause inflammation in the gallbladder, a condition called cholecystitis. Gallstones are also a risk factor for gallbladder cancer.
If you are diagnosed with gallstones, treatment may be recommended to break down these formations to minimize the risks of complications or surgery to remove the gallbladder. The treatment depends on your health and whether you are prone to gallbladder disorders caused by gallstones. To discuss gallstones treatment, contact us at our office in Los Angeles to schedule a consultation with our GI surgeon, Dr. Danny Shouhed.