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.