Gallstones Expert in Perumbakkam

Your Trusted Partner in Gallstones

Gallstones are hardened deposits that form in the gallbladder, often composed of cholesterol or bilirubin. When these stones obstruct the bile ducts or gallbladder, they can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. At our facility, we offer comprehensive care and guidance to effectively diagnose and manage gallstones, ensuring personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs.

Understanding Gallstones

Gallstones are solid particles that form in the gallbladder, a small organ located beneath the liver. They can vary in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. Gallstones are typically made of hardened cholesterol or bilirubin, a pigment produced by the liver. These stones can develop when there is an imbalance in the substances that make up bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Gallstones may not always cause symptoms, but when they do, they can lead to intense abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and other digestive issues. In some cases, gallstones can block the bile ducts, causing complications such as inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), pancreatitis, or infection. Treatment for gallstones may involve lifestyle changes, medications, or surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy), depending on the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.

Types of Gallstones:

  1. Cholesterol Gallstones: These are the most common type of gallstones and are primarily composed of hardened cholesterol. They form when bile contains too much cholesterol or not enough bile salts or when the gallbladder does not empty as it should.
  2. Pigment Gallstones: These gallstones are dark brown or black and are composed of bilirubin, a pigment produced when red blood cells break down. Pigment gallstones are less common than cholesterol gallstones and may form when there is an excess of bilirubin in bile, often seen in conditions such as liver cirrhosis or hemolytic anemia.

Understanding the composition and types of gallstones is crucial for diagnosis and determining the most appropriate treatment approach. Treatment strategies may vary based on the type of gallstones present, the severity of symptoms, and any associated complications.

Causes of Gallstones

Pigment gallstones are a type of gallstone characterized by their dark brown or black coloration. Unlike cholesterol gallstones, which primarily consist of hardened cholesterol, pigment gallstones are composed predominantly of bilirubin, a yellowish-brown pigment produced when red blood cells break down.

These gallstones typically form when there is an excess of bilirubin in bile, which can occur in conditions such as liver cirrhosis, hemolytic anemia, or certain inherited blood disorders like sickle cell disease.

Pigment gallstones are less common than cholesterol gallstones but may be more prevalent in individuals with underlying liver or blood disorders. They tend to be smaller and denser than cholesterol gallstones and may cause similar symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, when they obstruct the bile ducts.

Treatment for pigment gallstones may involve addressing the underlying condition causing excess bilirubin production, managing symptoms with medications, or in some cases, surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) if complications arise. Understanding the factors contributing to the formation of pigment gallstones is essential for guiding treatment and preventing recurrence.

Symptoms of Gallstones:


Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Dietary Changes: Adopting a low-fat diet and avoiding foods that can trigger gallbladder attacks, such as fried or fatty foods, can help reduce symptoms associated with gallstones.

  • Healthy Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet can help reduce the risk of gallstone formation, as obesity is a risk factor for gallstones.

  • Hydration: Staying hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can help prevent dehydration, promote bile flow, and reduce the risk of gallstone formation.


  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms of gallbladder attacks, such as abdominal pain or discomfort.

  • Antibiotics: In cases of gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) or infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the underlying infection and reduce inflammation.

Non-Surgical Treatments:

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as bile acid medications (ursodeoxycholic acid), may be prescribed to dissolve cholesterol gallstones in individuals who are not suitable candidates for surgery or who prefer nonsurgical treatment options.

  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): ESWL is a non-invasive procedure that uses shock waves to break up gallstones into smaller fragments, making them easier to pass through the bile ducts.

Surgical Intervention:

  • Cholecystectomy: Surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is the most common treatment for symptomatic gallstones. It can be performed laparoscopically (minimally invasive surgery) or as an open procedure.
Frequently Asked Question on Gallstones
What are gallstones?

Gallstones are hardened deposits that form in the gallbladder, a small organ located beneath the liver. They can vary in size and composition and may cause symptoms when they obstruct the flow of bile.

How are gallstones diagnosed?

Gallstones are typically diagnosed through imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Blood tests may also be performed to evaluate liver function and assess for signs of inflammation or infection.

Are gallstones preventable?

While not all gallstones are preventable, adopting a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a balanced diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol, staying hydrated, and avoiding rapid weight loss can help reduce the risk of gallstone formation.

Is surgery always necessary to treat gallstones?

Surgery may not be necessary for all cases of gallstones. In some instances, medications or non-surgical procedures may be effective in managing symptoms or dissolving gallstones.

What are the complications of untreated gallstones?

Untreated gallstones can lead to complications such as gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), bile duct obstruction, pancreatitis, or infection of the bile ducts (cholangitis), which may require emergency medical attention.

Can gallstones recur after treatment?

While surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) eliminates the risk of recurrent gallstones, individuals who undergo nonsurgical treatments or lifestyle modifications may still be at risk of developing new gallstones in the future.