Cholelithiasis: Cause, Symptoms, Treatment And Complications


What Is Cholelithiasis?

Cholelithiasis is the medical phrase for hard deposits that is gall stones that may develop in the gall bladder. The gall bladder is a small sac that is situated on the right-hand side of the body on the underside of the liver. Some of the chemicals that exist in the gall bladder can solidify into either one large stones or also into several ones.

The gallbladder is a tiny organ that is situated on the bottom of the liver. Stone can grow when there is an irregularity of chemicals in the gall bladder. People with overweight and obesity are expected to form gallstones. Most of the specialists consider that a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help to prevent gallstones.

Cholelithiasis may cause irritation and inflammation of the gall bladder that leads to a number of symptoms that may vary in intensity among the individuals.


Gallstones form if the compounds in the gall bladder are out of balance such as cholesterol, calcium carbonate.

There are mainly two types of gallstones that include:

Cholesterol Gallstones

These may form if there is too much cholesterol in the bile which is the most common type of gallstone in the gallbladder.

Pigment Gallstones

These form when the bile has too much bilirubin as they are common in people having liver disease and other blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia.

Experts are not sure why some people develop the chemical imbalance in the gallbladder that causes gall stones whereas others do not. We all know that it is most common in people with obesity.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cholelithiasis?

You may feel cholecystitis symptoms regular or just once in a while whereas any of the well-known symptoms can be severe:

  • Abdominal pain that localized to the right upper quadrant of the abdomen.
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Fever and chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain radiates from the abdomen to the right arm.
  • Sweating
  • Yellowing of the epidermis and whitening of the optics.

Treatment Options For Cholelithiasis

Several treatment options are available for cholelithiasis as laparoscopic cholecystectomy is currently the most frequently used technique. Other options include:

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography(ERCP)

It is an imaging procedure that allows the treatment of some bile duct problems which includes the removal of gallstones that cause obstruction.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy

It can be known as the procedure which is done to remove the gallbladder through multiple small incisions. It is a less invasive and more commonly used technique.


it is a technique that uses electric shock waves to dissolve the gall stone which is not commonly used today. if gallstones become small enough, they can then pass safely through the stools.

Open Cholecystectomy

It is the procedure where the gallbladder is removed through a single and large incision. This is a more invasive and less generally accepted technique. With open cholecystectomy, a large cut is made in the abdominal site whereas if the gallbladder is severely inflamed then open surgery will be inflamed. For a large proportion of those who undergo a cholecystectomy then the gallbladder may come back within the years. In order to prevent this many people with gall stones are provided with ursodeoxycholic acid, which is the acid that is found in bile. This acid lowers the cholesterol content of bile, making it less likely that stones will form.

Ursodeoxycholic Acid

If the gall stone is made of cholesterol then it can sometimes be slowly dissolved with the ursodeoxycholic acid. This treatment is known as the dissolution which may take up to 24 months to be effective. It is not effective as surgery but sometimes this is the choice for those people who cannot have a general anesthetic.

What Are The Complications?

Cholelithiasis may cause dangerous complexities if gallstones lodge in the typical bile duct. It is the large duct formed where the major gallbladder bile ducts meet the main liver bile duct. You can also help minimize your risk of having serious complications by the following treatment plan that you and your health care professional design for you.

Complications may involve:

  • Acute cholecystitis means sudden inflammation of the gall bladder.
  • Cholangitis means infection or inflammation of the common bile duct.
  • Choledocholithiasis means gallstone in the common bile duct.
  • Pancreatitis means infection of the pancreas.

Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by anup