Gallstones

Saturday 09 September 2017

The liver produces bile, which helps during the digestion of fats; and is stored in the gallbladder. Gallstones are‘stones that form in the latter, due to the sedimentation of the bilis, when it becomes thicker or denser. Generally, an excess of cholesterol in the bilis is what causes the formation of small crystals, which later turn into stones with sizes ranging from a grain of sand to a golf ball. According to Dr. Gerardo Garcia, a specialist in General and Gastrointestinal Surgery at Hospiten Los Cabos, "the greatest risk of stones in the gallbladder is that they enter the bile ducts and obstruct them, generating other medical situations such as pancreatitis, which will require immediate attention. 

Women are more likely to develop gallstones and are most common in patients of between 30 and 40 years old. Risk factors include: people with obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, family history of gallstones, diabetes, use of estrogen-containing contraceptive methods, people with chronic intestinal inflammation, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Symptoms include: bouts of abdominal pain lasting for at least 30 minutes, fever, nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin and conjunctiva of the eyes. Dr. Garcia, Medical Director of Hospiten Los Cabos, points out that "Gallstones are a very common medical situation; Many people do not know that they have gallstones and live for years with treatments for gastritis and colitis, which cover the actual condition, as some of the symptoms may be similar. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a timely diagnosis by means of an abdominal ultrasound and other studies.

The most common treatment for gallstones is surgery and it is recommended to do so laparoscopically. At Hospiten Cabo San Lucas and Hospiten San Jose del Cabo, there are excellent facilities and equipment for the diagnosis of gallstones and their treatment at the minimally invasive surgery service.

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