A small number of people with gallstones may develop serious problems if the gallstones cause a severe blockage or move into another part of the digestive system
Inflammation of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis)
If a bile duct becomes permanently blocked, it can lead to a build-up of bile inside the gallbladder. This can cause the gallbladder to become infected and inflamed. The medical term for inflammation of the gallbladder is acute cholecystitis.
– Pain in your upper abdomen that travels towards your shoulder blade (unlike biliary colic, the pain usually lasts longer than 5 hours)
– A high temperature (fever) of 38C or above
– A rapid heartbeat
You can get jaundice if a gallstone passes out of the gallbladder into the bile duct and blocks the flow of bile.
Symptoms of jaundice include:
– Yellowing of the skin and eyes
– Dark brown urine
– Pale stools
Appointment with Dr. Ashish Vashistha
- Acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis may develop when a gallstone moves out of the gallbladder and blocks the opening (duct) of the pancreas, causing it to become inflamed.
The most common symptom of acute pancreatitis is a sudden severe dull pain in the center of your upper abdomen, around the top of your stomach.
The pain of acute pancreatitis often gets steadily worse until it reaches a constant ache.
The ache may travel from your abdomen and along your back, and may feel worse after eating.
- Cancer of the gallbladder
Gallbladder cancer is a rare but serious complication of gallstones. Around 980 cases of gallbladder cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year.
Having a history of gallstones increases your risk of developing gallbladder cancer. About 4 out of 5 people who have cancer of the gallbladder also have a history of gallstones.
Dr. Vashistha is a renowned senior Bariatric and Gallbladder stone surgeon in India with over 18 years of experience in Minimal Access Surgery. He is the Head of the “Department of Surgery” Max Health Care, Saket, New Delhi.