Often they are an unnoticed companion, but often they trigger unpleasant abdominal pain: Gallstones.
In the course of life, these stones can form in the gallbladder. The accumulation of gallstones in the gallbladder is called cholecystolithiasis. Often diagnosed as an incidental finding, these stones often cause little or no discomfort for many years. However, if the stones become symptomatic, they can typically cause right-sided upper abdominal pain.
What are Gallstones Doing?
The gallbladder can become inflamed again and again due to the troublesome stones. This is called recurrent cholecystitis. Small gallstones in particular can also find their way out of the gallbladder into the bile duct system, where they can lead to extremely painful and also dangerous inflammatory processes of the bile ducts or the connected organs such as the pancreas.
Treatment of Gallstones
If the stones begin to cause discomfort, surgical removal of the gallbladder is usually necessary. This so-called cholecystectomy is usually performed laparoscopically. Only in rare cases is the open surgical technique necessary. Both procedures are performed under general anaesthesia. An ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity is required to make a diagnosis. This is usually supplemented by a blood test. Sometimes further diagnostics are useful.
Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal (Cholecystectomy)
In laparoscopic gallbladder removal, we remove the gallbladder together with the gallstones that are causing the symptoms in a minimally invasive way. This tissue-conserving procedure makes it possible to shorten the hospital stay and the discomfort caused by the operation.
Open Surgical Gallbladder Removal (Cholecystectomy)
In only rare cases is the open surgical removal of the gallbladder necessary. Here, too, we remove the gallbladder together with the gallstones via an access in the right upper abdomen. The hospital stay for the open surgical procedure is three to four days, which is slightly longer than for the laparoscopic procedure.
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