If you have been diagnosed with gallstones, then our team at The Hernia & Gallbladder Centre is here to help. We help you understand your treatment options, and offer expert surgery as well as support and patient care. You can count on our experienced surgeons, specialist doctors and dietitians to organise the most suitable treatment plan for you.
What are gallstones?
To understand gallstones as a common reason to plan a gallbladder removal surgery, it is important to situate the gallbladder. Your gallbladder sits underneath your liver, in the right upper abdomen, and it can best be described as an organ that is shaped like a sac. Its function is to help the liver store a bodily fluid (bile) in a reservoir. The liver by itself already stores bile, a dark green to yellow-brown fluid, produced in the liver. The bile's function is to help break down fats in the small intestine so we can absorb them.
When you have a meal that contains fat, the gallbladder contracts to release some of that fluid via the common bile duct, into the duodenum. Gallstones (or other bile duct issues) can obstruct and disturb this process and that's why surgery may be needed.
If you do suffer from gallstones you can experience a few typical symptoms: indigestion, abdominal pain, bloating and belching, or infections of the gallbladder (known as cholecystitis). In some cases, gallstones can even cause a life threatening pancreas inflammation (also known as pancreatitis) or they can be the underlying cause of jaundice. If you suffer from gallstones and they cause a chronic inflammation in your gallbladder, it can cause the occurence of polyps and eventually cancer. This is why it's essential to see a gallbladder specialist if there is a suspicion of gallstones or gallbladder issues.
Gallstones may form when there is a chemical imbalance in the bile: in this case the contained cholesterol and bile salts are no longer in balance. These are common risk factors for getting gallstones:
- Gender (more common in women)
- Rapid weight loss (after obesity surgery)
- Family history
Most patients who have gallstones would experience some form of abdominal pain. But then other patients may have them, and not experience any problems at all.
What if you have been diagnosed with gallstones? The first step is to consult with a specialist. Our specialist surgeons at Hernia Gallbladder Centre WA are here to help. Their first role is to make sure you receive excellent care, and that includes clear communication about your diagnosis and your options for treatment. As a team we believe that you deserve the best surgical outcomes, and also genuine care and support as a patient.
If you are at risk and there is a chance that you may be forming gallstones, we will help you with a personalised treatment and care plan here at Hernia Gallbladder Centre WA. Your care plan will help you establish and maintain a healthy diet: high in fibre and moderate in fats. (A diet too low in fat could actually cause the formation of more gallstones)
When we make changes to your diet, the first concern is to make sure that your nutritional needs are met. And that's why our dietitians help you find a balance between absorbing the right nutrients, and maximising your chances of recovery. At Hernia Gallbladder Centre WA we focus on providing expert surgery and on the highest level of support and care. Simply because we believe that as patient, that is what you deserve.