WHAT IS CHOLELITHIASIS?
Cholelithiasis, in general terms, is known as Gallstones, which are the hardened deposits of digestive fluid that accumulates in the Gallbladder.
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped pouch-like organ that is located just under the liver on the right side of the abdomen. It is the part of our digestive system that stores bile juice. This bile juice helps to break down fats into simpler particles. It is then released into the small intestine.
Cholelithiasis is more common in women than in men. Some people may suffer from a single gallstone or some may even have multiple gallstones at the same time.
HOW DO GALLSTONES DEVELOP?
When the gallbladder does not work efficiently and fails to release bile juice into the small intestine, gallstones begin to develop. The major components of bile juice are cholesterol, bilirubin, and some bile salts. The increase in the concentration of cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile juice can lead to the formation of gallstones inside the gallbladder.
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TYPES OF GALLSTONES
- PIGMENT GALLSTONES – Are black or dark brown in color and formed due to excessive bilirubin in bile juice.
- CHOLESTEROL GALLSTONES – Are are the most common type of gallstones which are yellow in color and are formed due to an increase in the level of cholesterol in the bile juice.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CHOLELITHIASIS
Generally, there are no major symptoms of Cholelithiasis but some symptoms might occur such as:
- Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
- High fever
- vomiting or nausea
- Severe pain in back
- swelling in abdomen
- loss of appetite
RISK FACTORS FOR CHOLELITHIASIS
- Adults 40+
- females are more prone to it
- Any liver disease
- being pregnant
- obesity or being overweight
- unhealthy lifestyle
TREATMENT FOR CHOLELITHIASIS
When you are diagnosed with Cholelithiasis you are provided certain antibiotics by your healthcare provider to reduce infection. If it progresses, surgery may be the only option. The gallbladder can be removed at once by a method called open cholecystectomy or in small pieces by laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Patients can resume a normal life after gallbladder removal but should be sure to follow all health care provider recomendations.
The pre-surgery and Post-surgery stages are very important for patients who are on blood-thinning medication such as WARFARIN. Great care should be taken before having such surgeries. Their PT/INR LEVEL should be in a perfect range. They are asked to monitor their INR level regularly which they can now easily do with the help of PT/INR METERS at home. PATIENT SELF TESTING is convenient with portable meters allowing them to easily perform the test and get the reading in seconds. WARFARIN dosages can then be easily adjusted by their health care provider.