Is Fish Oil the Answer for Heart Disease, Diabetes? What Are the Treatments for Gallstones? How Do I Know if I Have Gallstones? Because other digestive problems, such as an infection of the duct, can produce symptoms similar to those of a gallstone attack, the doctor may also run other tests to determine if gallstones are in fact the culprit. The most common technique is an ultrasound exam. This quick, painless procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the gallbladder, bile duct, and their contents.
A more complicated test may be used if the doctor suspects that a gallstone is lodged in a bile duct. Commonly known by the acronym ERCP, this test allows the doctor to look at the bile duct through a small flexible tube called an endoscope. In most cases, treatment of gallstones is considered necessary only if you are having symptoms. Of the various conventional treatments that are available, surgical removal of the gallbladder is the most widely used. Some alternative treatments have also been found to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of troublesome gallstones.
Conventional Medicine for Gallstones When deciding what course of action to take for symptomatic gallstones, doctors usually choose from among three main treatment options: Watchful waiting, nonsurgical therapy, and surgical removal of the gallbladder. Gallstones and Watchful Waiting Though a gallstone episode can be extremely painful or frightening, almost a third to half of all people who experience an attack never have a recurrence. In some cases, the stone dissolves or becomes dislodged and thereby resumes its “silence. Because the problem may solve itself without intervention, many doctors take a wait-and-see approach following the initial episode. Even when the patient has had repeated gallstone episodes, the doctor may postpone treatment or surgery because of other health concerns. If your surgery has been delayed, you should remain under a doctor’s care and report any recurrences of gallstone symptoms immediately.
Note that though these methods may destroy symptom-causing gallstones, they can do nothing to prevent others from forming, and recurrence is common. Some gallstones can be dissolved through the use of a bile salt, although the procedure can be used only with stones formed from cholesterol and not from bile pigments. Another nonsurgical technique, shock wave therapy, uses high-frequency sound waves to fragment the stones. Bile salt is administered afterward to dissolve small pieces. Doctors can also attempt to remove gallstones during an ERCP. During the procedure an instrument is inserted through the endoscope to attempt removal of the stone.
Surgery to Remove the Gallbladder While the gallbladder serves an important function, it is not essential for a normal, healthy life. When gallstones are persistently troublesome, doctors often recommend removing the organ entirely. This operation is considered among the safest of all surgical procedures. Each year approximately 750,000 Americans have their gallbladder removed. When the gallbladder has been removed, bile flows directly from the liver into the small intestine, and this sometimes leads to diarrhea. In the past, removal of the gallbladder was done through traditional “open” surgery, which requires surgeons to make a large incision in the abdomen.
Patients faced a two- or three-day hospital stay plus several weeks of recovery at home. The doctor makes several small incisions in the abdomen, then uses special pencil-thin instruments to remove the gallbladder. Laparoscopic surgery is highly effective and very safe. It has reduced the hospital stay to a day or two. Patients report less pain and are generally able to resume a normal lifestyle in a short period of time. However, people who are obese or who have a severe infection or inflammation in the gallbladder may still be considered candidates for traditional open surgery.
Diverticulitis Diet Best and worst foods. How to Live Gluten-Free Learn what foods to avoid. Dietary Fiber Will it help constipation? WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I found a statistic online that may give you pause: by age 50, one out of every two individuals will suffer from clinical hemorrhoids. The rest, however, will be downright miserable. That’s exactly what happened to me. But this didn’t do me any good when I started to experience serious derriere discomfort in the mid-1990s. This diagnosis was later confirmed by a top-ranked clinic in my home town of Toronto.
Pain, especially extreme pain, after having a bowel movement is a classic fissure symptom. Since that area involves muscle tissue, the late-onset pain is actually a delayed spasm deep within the muscle. I soon learned that these problems are not easy to fix. I tried every ointment, poultice, and cream I could get my hands on, but nothing offered long-term relief. They also told me that the surgery itself was painful, tended to interfere with one’s ability to control the sphincter thereafter, and often required repeat surgery in the years to come. I was not a happy camper. I learned that its sister clinic had already been operating in Vancouver for several years. The two clinics are jointly run by Guoyi Chen and his son, Alan. The treatment I ultimately received was like nothing I had come across before.
They claim to have developed a specific regimen rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine which, over time, compels the body to heal the condition naturally, while simultaneously sloughing off the diseased tissue. China are former patients, and active proponents of, the Chen protocols. In the West, it is usually the large drug or pharmaceutical firms that take control of key formulations. In China, following a tradition going back generations, it is invariably the family itself that adopts and tirelessly perfects a certain formulation over time. So it is with the Chen family approach to this type of bowel disorders. I did not have a lot of choices, so I gave it a shot. Boy was I glad I did! In my case, the total treatment took five weeks, but there was a very good reason for the extra time. 3-way combo of hemorrhoids, fissure, and fistula.
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