Gallstones Therapy

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Gallstones Therapy
Gallstones Therapy
Video: Gallstones Therapy
Video: Gallstones : Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Treatment [Patient Education] 2023, February
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Gallstones: therapy

Gallstones do not necessarily cause symptoms. Those affected may not notice anything or never notice the stones for a long time. So it happens that gallstones are sometimes an accidental diagnosis when, for example, an abdominal ultrasound is performed due to other complaints. In the case of symptom-free gallstones, there is usually no medical reason to treat them. In these cases one speaks of “silent” gallstones. Treatment is usually required when gallstones cause discomfort. It may also be necessary to remove the gallbladder, for example when colic occurs.

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  • How is gallstones treated?
  • Surgical removal of the gallbladder
  • Living without a gallbladder
  • How is the treatment of stones in the biliary tract done?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

How is gallstones treated?

Mild to moderate complaints can be treated with medication, at least temporarily. The therapy focuses on symptoms such as pain and cramps. Painkillers (analgesics, NSAIDs) or antispasmodics (spasmolytics) are used. However, the gallstones persist and can cause symptoms and colic again. If a bacterial infection is suspected, antibiotics are prescribed. This can also be necessary, for example, if there are signs of sepsis or perforation (“breakthrough”), then usually as part of an urgently necessary operation. Food abstinence can also be (temporarily) useful.

Surgical removal of the gallbladder

Surgical removal of the gallbladder is usually carried out if symptoms are present or complications arise, e.g. in the case of :

  • frequent and severe colic,
  • Porcelain gall bladder,
  • acute inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis),
  • after acute inflammation of the pancreas (acute biliary pancreatitis),
  • Jaundice,
  • Presence of gallstones and gallbladder polyps from 1 cm.

If surgical removal of the gallbladder (“cholecystectomy”) is required, this is now almost exclusively done laparoscopically, ie minimally invasively using small incisions in the abdominal wall (“keyhole” surgery). A large abdominal incision is rarely required.

In the laparoscopic surgical method, a thin tube is inserted through the small incisions in the abdominal wall under general anesthesia. Inside there are small instruments that the surgeon uses to gently remove the gallbladder.

Living without a gallbladder

Removing the gallbladder does not store bile. The bile produced in the liver is then released directly into the digestive tract.

With regard to nutrition, among other things, it can be advised not to eat too high in fat and to increase the amount of fiber. However, there are no special requirements or prohibitions. Essentially, you can refer to the Austrian Food Pyramid even with the gallbladder removed.

How is the treatment of stones in the biliary tract done?

If there are stones in the biliary tract, they are surgically removed as they are always prone to complications. This is mainly done with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). The gallbladder can also be removed in the following days to weeks.

Whom can I ask?

Contact points are:

  • General Practitioner,
  • Specialist in internal medicine (gastroenterology and hepatology),
  • Specialist in surgery.

Note The symptoms are sometimes difficult to classify for those affected. In the event of symptoms (e.g. pain, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, fever, blood in the stool), medical help should be sought immediately. In the event of (increasingly) severe pain, rapid deterioration in the general condition, shortness of breath, accelerated breathing, drop in blood pressure, etc., medical help must be called immediately (emergency number 144!).

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Rehabilitation & cure
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ

and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

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