Gallstones develop in the gallbladder from crystals of either cholesterol or bilirubin. Stones can be too small to be seen with the eye (biliary sludge), or can range from the size of grains of sand to the size of golf balls. There may be one or hundreds of stones in the gallbladder. When gallstones are present, the condition is called cholelithiasis.
At any point, stones may obstruct the cystic duct, which leads from the gallbladder to the common bile duct, and cause pain (biliary colic), infection and inflammation (cholecystitis), or both.
Gallstone disease is a common medical problem that affects 25 million persons or 10-15 percent of the US population. Between 10- of all adults over 40 have gallstones, however only 1-3% complaint of symptoms during the course of a year. Women are at increased risk because estrogen stimulates the liver to remove more cholesterol from blood and divert it into the bile. Pregnant women with stones are more likely to have symptoms.
Silent gallstones often never cause symptoms and require no treatment. When treatment is requires, there are several medications, as well as non-surgical and surgical methods.
Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide
The Medifocus Guide on Gallstones provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What Your Doctor Reads:
- What are the most common symptoms of gallstones?
- Are there any recognized risk factors for developing gallstones?
- What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of gallstones?
- What is the current standard of care for the treatment of gallstones?
- What treatment options are available for the management of gallstones?
- Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
- Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in gallstones?
- Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for gallstones?
- What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about gallstones?
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
MediFocus Guides... When You Need Trustworthy Medical Information
- Gallbladder stones: imaging and intervention.
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy of gallstones revisited: current status and future promises.
Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2000
- Emergency endoscopy.
Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2000
- Management of gallstones and their complications.
American Family Physician. 2000
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy and interventional endoscopy for gallstone complications during pregnancy.
Surgical Endoscopy. 2000
- Port-site metastasis following laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a review of the literature and a case report.
European Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2000
- Nonsurgical management of gallstone disease.
Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 1999
- Gallstones: an intestinal disease?.
- Biliary sludge.
Annals of Internal Medicine. 1999
- The pathogenesis of cholesterol gallstones a review.
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 1998
MediFocus.com understands that consumers who are facing serious medical issues need access to credible, up-to-date medical information to help them make informed health-care decisions. That's why we've developed the MediFocus Guides...the most advanced and trustworthy patient research guides for over 200 chronic and life-threatening conditions. Each MediFocus Guide includes a detailed overview of the condition including information about diagnosis, treatment options, cutting-edge research, and new developments; excerpts of important journal articles from the current medical literature focusing on standard treatments and treatment options; a directory of leading authors and medical institutions who specialize in the treatment of the condition; and a listing of organizations and support groups where you can obtain additional information about the illness.
MediFocus Guides are the perfect solution for consumers who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of their medical issue and avail themselves of the same type of professional level medical information that is used by physicians and other health-care professionals to help then in the clinical decision making process.
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