Gallstone Removing Procedures & Options
There are many methods available for Gallstone Removal .Selection of the best treatment for Gallstone removal depend on the health of patient,type of gallstone,size of gallstone,number of gallstone etc.
The gallstones are crystal like particles grown into stones which are formed in the gallbladder and move into the biliary tract causing blocking of bile and hence increasing pressure in the gallbladder which results in severe pain in the abdomen. The gallstones if left untreated and undiagnosed may further create more complications by blocking material flow and interfering with the function of body organs. Hence these gallstones have to be diagnosed immediately when the symptoms appear.
Three Options for Gallstone Removal
These treatments are classified into 1) Surgical treatments, 2) Non-surgical treatments and 3) Natural treatments. The treatments are dealt with in detail in the following sections.
Surgical Gallstone Removal:
There are three types of surgeries that can be performed for the removal of gallstones. The more advanced surgery is Laproscopic surgery.
is that surgery which involves making tiny incisions of 5 to 10 mm and sending medical instruments and camera which is connected to a computer. The details of the gallbladder are monitored through the computer and is removed through one of the incisions. This surgery makes the patient get back to their daily activities within 3 to 5 days.
Traditional Open surgery
is not opted now a days. If there is a gallbladder infection or internal scar tissue from previous abdominal surgeries or if the laproscopic surgery is not suitable to the patient. This surgery involves making an incision of 5 to 8 inch and the gallbladder is removed in the traditional method. The patients need to stay 2 to 7 days in the hospital and it takes several weeks to recover and resume to normal activities.
Surgery of Blocked bile ducts
is the third type of surgical treatment which is done remove stones from the bile ducts as the removal of the gallbladder alone may not cure the disease. This treatment is done in two steps. One involving Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in which a small instrument to cut the bile duct and a tiny basket to catch the stones are attached to the endoscope and the stones are removed. This is done before the removal of gallbladder or during the cholecystectomy.
These are also three types of Gallstone treatments. These are usually more suitable to remove small cholesterol stones as they work by dissolving the stones and it takes lot of time for the stones to dissolve completely.
Oral Dissolution Therapy
is a method in which drugs made from bile acid are taken orally to dissolve the stones. These drugs include ursodiol (Actigall) and chenodiol (Chenix). There are side effects to these drugs as they cause mild diarrhea, and may temporarily raise levels of blood cholesterol and the liver enzyme transaminase.
Contact Dissolution Therapy
is a method which is not used so frequently. This method involves injecting a drug called methyl tert butyl which can dissolve some stones in 3 days is injected directly into the gallbladder. This drug is flammable anesthetic and may become toxic and hence should be used very carefully.
Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL)
is another non-surgical method which uses shock waves to break the stones that can easily pass through the ducts without causing any obstruction. The remaining stones are dissolved using medicines. The success rate of this method is not so high.
- Alfalfa herb is very useful herbal remedy in treating gallstones. It detoxifies the liver and supplies the essential vitamins and minerals to the body.
- It is shown that Safflowers can be used to thin body fluids and help in the digestion of oils.
- You can use Nature’s Sunshine Gall Bladder Formula to help stimulate circulation, improve liver function & help in the production of digestive fluids.
- You can try a gallbladder flush. For this, 1-2 cups of olive oil are consumed to simulate the gallbladder into releasing bile. This increased demand on the gallbladder to release bile works to push the stones out.
- 5. If you feel that your liver is congested, or if you experience minor symptoms of gallstones for a long period of time, you need to support and cleanse your liver for a period of time before doing a gallbladder flush. You can try taking herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion or a liver cleanse formula.