STONES THAT ARE FORMED IN THE GALLBLADDER, WHICH HELPS THE SMALL INTESTINE IN FAT DIGESTION, DEVELOP WITHOUT MANIFESTING ANY SYMPTOMS AND AFFECT LIFE QUALITY ADVERSELY. DELAYS ON THE TREATMENT OF THIS DISORDER, WHICH IS TWICE AS COMMON IN WOMEN THAN MEN, CAN BE LIFE-THREATENING.
Gallstones, which constitute one of the problems that affect the digestive system the most, develop in every 10 out of 100 people. Since gallstones do not usually show symptoms, they are generally found out coincidentally during abdominal ultrasound scans that are performed during regular check-ups or due to other health problems. When they do show symptoms however, the most common indication of these is severe abdominal pain. This pain usually arises after consumption of fatty foods such as deep-fried foods, as well as eggs, chocolate and coffee because these cause the gallbladder to contract. Professor Nihat Yavuz, a general surgeon at Acıbadem Kadıköy Hospital, states that delays in treatment of gallstones can be life-threatening and warns us not to neglect abdominal pain under any circumstances.
The gallbladder, which is located under the liver, has a length of 7 to 10 cm and a capacity of 50 ml. This pear-shaped organ stores and condenses the bile which is produced in the liver and sends it to the duodenum when necessary. This bile, which ensures fat digestion in the intestine, is especially helpful in absorption of vitamins such as A, D, E and K in the body.AN ORGAN THAT HELPS IN ABSORPTION OF VITAMINS
Women are twice as likely to have gallstones, especially after the age of 30. This is considered to be due to pregnancy, nutrition and hormonal causes.
THERE ARE MORE REASONS FOR WOMEN TO HAVE GALLSTONES
Age and gender are important factors in the development of stones in the gallbladder. Women are twice as likely to have gallstones, especially after the age of 30. This is considered to be due to pregnancy, nutrition and hormonal causes. The risk is also increased by excessive weight, various drugs, hormonal therapy, bad diets, inflammatory intestinal diseases, stomach surgeries and certain blood diseases.
GALLSTONES CAN CAUSE SEVERE ABDOMINAL PAIN
70 to 80% of gallstones do not show any symptoms. Therefore, they are only detected coincidentally during examinations for other health problems. Professor Yavuz states that while gallbladder symptoms vary, the most typical of these symptoms is severe abdominal pain which starts suddenly and lowers the life quality of patients significantly, and says, “The pain starts in the right upper or middle part of the abdomen and spreads to the right shoulder or the back. It disappears in two or three hours. Sometimes, the pain is accompanied with nausea. If the pain persists and inflammation starts, fever can also accompany the symptoms. Some patients do not have pain and experience other effects such as indigestion, bloating, nausea and vomiting”.
TREATMENT SHOULD NOT BE DELAYED
The only treatment method for gallstones is surgery. Professor Nihat Yavuz strictly warns against delaying surgery for gallstones and lists the problems that may arise in case of delay as follows: “Gallstones can block the bile ducts and result in gallbladder inflammation which, in turn, becomes life-threatening by puncturing the gallbladder or causing abscesses around the gallbladder. These stones can also pass on to the intestine and cause blockage in it. Furthermore, they can lead to terminal conditions such as obstructive jaundice which is characterized by accumulation of bile in the body when the small stones in the gallbladder fall into bile ducts or the bile ducts are blocked by stones that develop directly in them, as well as inflammation of the pancreatic gland and infection in bile ducts.”
SCARLESS SURGERY THROUGH THE NAVEL
It is possible for the surgical treatment to be performed via the “single port” method which leaves no scars. Professor Yavuz states that through the single port method, which is applied laparoscopically (through closed surgery), the gallbladder can be removed with a single incision on the navel and says, “The most important advantage of the single port method is the fact that it yields much better results since it does not leave any incision scars. Furthermore, it has many positive effects on life quality, such as less postoperative pain, discharge from the hospital within 12 to 24 hours and return to normal life in four or five days. It is also advantageous for people with umbilical hernia since this condition can also be treated during the gallstone surgery”.