Experts in fast diagnosis and treatment of Gallstones
Gallstones are crystal-like deposits that form in the gallbladder – a small organ under the liver that stores the digestive fluid (bile). The stones may stay in the gallbladder and cause no symptoms, or they may irritate the gallbladder wall or block gallbladder ducts. As a result, infection, inflammation and upper abdominal pain occurs.
What to look out for
Most people with Gallstones do not experience any symptoms. In New Zealand, it’s estimated that 20% of the population may have Gallstones. If symptoms are present, the most common early sign of Gallstones is upper abdominal pain. This pain usually occurs in the upper right side of the abdomen. The pain is often severe, and may radiate to the chest, back, or the area between the shoulders. Onset can occur suddenly. Other symptoms that may occur include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Jaundice (the yellow appearance of skin and the whites of eyes)
- Low-grade fever, sweats and chills if fever is present
- Severe pain resulting in the need for immediate medical attention
The most common test used to definitively diagnose Gallstones is an abdominal ultrasound scan. If Gallstones are identified, a Gastroscopy may be performed.