Treatments for Gallstones

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Treatment

Doctors often meet these ‘silent stones’ during a routine physical examination to detect other disease and usually, the patient is suggested to ‘wait and see’ rather than be treated.

However, if your gallstones show symptoms, there are surgical treatments and non-surgical treatments which can be done.

Surgical

  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery. Most gall bladder surgeries are carried out using laparoscope – a kind of pencil size tube with lighting system and small video camera.
    Only a few small incisions will be made. You sense less pain after the operation, less scar and can return doing daily activities only in a few days.
  • Open surgery. The gall bladder will be removed through large incision at the abdomen. After surgery is made, your liver will continue to produce enough bile to digest normal diet.

Non-surgical

The stones will form repeatedly when non-surgical treatment is made. However, when surgery is not the main choice of the patient, your doctor will propose either following choices:

  • Bile salt pill. Doctor will suggest taking ursodiol drug (Actigall), to dissolve the cholesterol stones in the prescribed time. This treatment is suitable for small gallstones.
  • Sound wave therapy (extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy). This treatment uses high frequency sound wave to break the stones. The stones will form itself back unless if you takes ursodiol continuously.

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