Gallstones are very common and are present in about one-third of the population. The stones are composed of a mixture of cholesterol, bile and calcium salts. It also commonly runs in the family and in women.
Symptoms may include:
Although gallstones are common, not everyone gets symptoms or needs treatment.
Patients with symptoms usually require surgery to remove the gallbladder and the offending stones.
The body can still make stones even though you have had your gallbladder removed, and often times the stones may impact or block the bile duct causing symptoms. If there is a blockage of the bile duct from a stone then an internal examination procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) will be required to remove the stones from the bile duct.