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1. What is Gallstone?

Gallstone is the concentrated bile or precipitated extra cholesterol, sometimes mixed with some elements, such as minerals in gall bladder. The mixture becomes hard or crystalline, and then gallstone formed. Cholesterol gallstone found are more common.

2. What causes Gallstone?

Gallstone formation and daily eating habits are closely related. People who like high cholesterol, oily or sweet food are more likely to get the gallstones. If a person has the family medical history of gallstone, personal medical history of high cholesterol, obesity, multiple pregnancies will have a higher risk of suffering from gallstones.

3. How common is the Gallstone?

Gallstone is a common disease nowadays. According to the statistics, one out of ten in Hong Kong people can be found out suffering from gallstone, but most of them have no obvious symptoms.

4. What problems, sign and symptom do Gallstone causes?

The common symptom of having gallstone is right upper quadrant abdominal pain. The pain always becomes more severe after meal, especially after eating fatty food. The pain could go to the back, causing nausea and vomiting. If the gallstone has not treated properly immediately, the gallstone may block the bile duct or common bile duct that causes cholecystitis (gall bladder infection) or cholangitis (bile duct infection). For the severe case, it can cause jaundice and pancreatitis, bacteraemia or even life threatening condition

5. How is the diagnosis of Gallstone?

Doctors can make use of ultrasound imaging to search the gallstones, which is the gold standard diagnostic tool that can be done in hospital and clinic. It can exam the gallbladder and bile duct situation. If necessary, blood test and CT scan can be done for more in-depth examination of gallbladder and the surrounding organs or in case of uncertain case of the pain.

6. What can be done about my Gallstone?

The method of treating gallstone surgically has a more ideal outcome. The minimally invasive surgical treatment of gallstone is more popular. More than ninety-five percent of patients are suitable for receiving minimally invasive gallbladder surgery. The surgery generally takes about one hour. The doctor will open three holes from five to fifteen mm on the patient’s abdomen. Through these three holes, the tiny surgical instruments are inserted in the abdominal cavity for cholecystectomy. As the wounds are small, recovery time can take faster than the traditional open surgery. The chance of wound infection is also greatly reduced. Most of the patients can resume eating on the same day after surgery. Hospital stays originally from about one week can be shortened one to two days. The wound scar is not easy to detect after healed.

After surgery, patients need to take the painkillers if necessary with doctor’s prescription. Avoid eating high fat content foods. Keep the wound dry and clean. If the sign and symptom of wound infection discovered, see your doctor immediately.