I am a male in my early 50's who developed a kidney stone (calcium oxalate) in March 1998. A CAT scan done in the ER to confirm the kidney stone diagnosis revealed multiple small ?cholesteral gall stones. I am entirely symptomatic, lead a very physically active life, and am in excellent health. I also fully enjoy an unresticted diet; my weight is 155 and I am 5" 10" tall. I would rather avoid surgery, even if it is to be laproscopic. I am not interested in attempting to deal with the stones with medication (they seem to be ineffective and have side effects). What does the literature say on taking this course of action (actually non-action), i.e., what is the natural history of asymptomatic gall stones that are diagnosed in middle age incidental to another condition? Conversely, what are the risks of surgical side-effects if I should decide on surgery? Thank you, RWL
I assume that you meant to write that you are Asymptomatic, that is you do not have any symptoms related to your gall bladder.
The medical literature indicates that individuals who are asymptomatic do not require gall bladder removal. Although gallstones can cause problems of cholangitis (infection of the bile) or pancreatitis, one does not progress from asymptomatic status to these serious complications. The intermediate step is biliary colic, aching pain in the region of the liver that occurs after eating and lasts approximately 60 min. If you have biliary colic, then surgery is warranted. However, as long as you remain symptom free, there is no rush for surgery.
This information is presented for educatioanl purposes only. Always ask specific questions to your personal physician.
*keywords: gall stones, biliary colic
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