Many people have gallstones without knowing it. Gallstones are hard deposits in your gallbladder, a small organ that stores a digestive fluid made in the liver. Bile usually dissolves or breaks down cholesterol. However, if your liver makes more cholesterol than your bile can dissolve, hard stones may develop.
Not all people experience symptoms from gallstones. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 80 percent of people who have gallstones don’t have any pain at all. These are called “silent” gallstones. The most common symptom of gallstones is pain in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen.
Other symptoms include:
- A yellowish tint in your skin or eyes, which can indicate jaundice
- Nausea or vomiting
- abdominal pain
Many risk factors for gallstones are related to diet.
- Being overweight or obese
- Eating a diet that’s high in fat or cholesterol
To diagnose gallstones your doctor will perform a physical examination that includes checking your eyes and skin for visible changes in color. The examination may involve using diagnostic testing to see inside your body. These tests include Ultrasound, Abdominal CT Scan, Gallbladder Radionuclide Scan, and blood tests.
If gallstones are detected in your gallbladder surgery is often the first option if you have significant symptoms. Technology in surgery is constantly evolving with the intent of increasing positive clinical outcomes and improving patient safety and recovery. One of the greatest medical advances to occur in the pursuit of these goals was the development of surgical robots. Flushing Hospital Medical Center in its dedication to supplying patients with superior and technologically advanced tools in health care, acquired the da Vinci Surgical Robot. This tool allows for a minimally invasive surgery with a faster recovery time.
For more information about robotic surgery or procedures performed by our surgeons, please contact Flushing Hospital’s Department of Surgery at 718-670-3135.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.