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What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluids that form crystals inside the gallbladder The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the abdomen, just beneath the liver. The gallbladder stores and releases bile, a fluid made in the liver that helps in digestion. Gallstones can range from the size of a grain to that of a golf-ball. They block the bile duct causing an inflammation or infection of the gallbladder, which is medically known as Cholecystitis, and can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated.

formation of Gallstones

How does it form?

The bile juice carries wastes like cholesterol and bilirubin which are made from the breakdown of hemoglobin present in the red blood cells which result in the formation of gallstones. When excess cholesterol present in the bile crystallizes, it prevents the gallbladder from emptying properly, causing sudden piercing pain in the abdomen. These gallstones then block the bile ducts in the biliary tract causing a gallbladder attack that can be extremely painful.

Types of Gallstones

Cholesterol Stones

Cholesterol Stones

Pigment Stones

Pigment Stones


  • Excess cholesterol present in the bile
  • Presence of excess calcium in the bile
  • Gallbladder does not clear properly


  • Fever and chills
  • Stomach upset
  • Excessive pain on the right side of the upper/mid belly, just beneath the ribs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Eyes and skin turn yellow
  • Indigestion, heartburn and gastric
  • Pain on the right shoulder or back


Even if you might not suffer from any sort of pain from gallstones initially, they might internally lead you to several complications which can include the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Piercing and rapidly intensifying pain in the right side of your abdomen
  • Pain in your right shoulder
  • High fever with chills
  • Pain in the mid or lower back
  • Jaundice, leading to skin and eye whites turning yellow
  • Heartburn and indigestion

If you are going through any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you might consider suffering from the complications of a possible gallstone attack and should immediately seek medical assistance.

 Self-diagnosis for Gallstones


In this stage, the gallbladder appears normally without any adhesions. Although the conditions inside the gallbladder may favour possible gallstone formation, nothing is formed quite yet and you can take certain measures to prevent the potential risks of developing gallstone.

Grade I -  Lithogenic Stage

When to consult a doctor?

The presence of small gallstones in the gallbladder might not cause any significant signs and symptoms initially and certain cases might never require treatment. But, if you are suffering from complications like severe abdominal pain that lasts for almost two hours, nausea and vomiting, without making a delay you should immediately seek medical assistance. Consulting a gastroenterologist or an abdominal surgeon who specialises in the digestive system in this case would be the wisest decision to make.

Questions to ask your doctor

Q1. Is there a chance that my gallstones will go away without treatment?
Q2. Could there be any other reasons for my abdominal pain besides gallstones?
Q3. Are there any chances of my gallstones recurring?
Q4. Can gallstones be removed without surgery?
Q5. Will there be any discomfort during my bowel movements?
Q6. What are the changes that I should make in my diet?
Q7. Will I be exposed to any risks and complications during the surgery?
Q8. When will I be able to return to performing daily activities after the surgery?

Treatment options & cost

Based on the conditions and severity of your symptoms, the doctor might treat your gallstones without giving it a surgical approach. However, a non-surgical procedure only works when you are having cholesterol stones. Depending upon the size of the gallstones, you might consider the following methods to get rid of them :

  • Medications to thin your gallbladder bile: The doctor might give you certain medications to be taken orally that use chemicals like ursodiol or chenodiol which can help in dissolving the gallstones. 
  • Extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL): Although most commonly used to treat kidney stones, gallstones less than 2cm can be broken down using extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy which is a non-surgical alternative to treat gallstones.
  • MTBE injection: This non-surgical treatment involves the injecting of a solvent known as methyl-tertiary butyl ether into the gallbladder that can help in dissolving the gallstones. Although it might rapidly dissolve the gallstones, there might be some serious side effects like severe burning pain. Before getting this form of treatment, it is better to inquire about your doctor’s experience and expertise in performing it.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP): This is a procedure that can help in removing the gallstones for the bile duct without removing the gallbladder. An endoscope (a long, thin flexible tube with a camera at the end) is passed through your mouth down to where the bile duct opens to the small intestine. Since the gallbladder is not permanently removed, there are chances of the gallstones blocking the bile duct again.
gallstone insurance
gallstone insurance Insurance coverage

Though insurance is very beneficial to the patient, most of the patients opt for better amenities and services while using health insurance policies to cover the cost of a gallstone surgery. With insurance, the expenses of the treatment may go higher than expectations, but, as the sum is deducted from the insurance, the patient does not feel a burden on his/her shoulder.

Recovery Rate

The recovery rate is based on a number of given conditions like age, severity of the disease, response of the treatment on the patient’s body, and the type of surgery that the patient undergoes.

With laparoscopic surgery, the patients are usually able to leave the hospital on the same day that the surgical procedure takes place. However, in some cases, the patient might be advised for an overnight stay depending upon their condition. Patients are generally advised to stop performing physical activities like sports, swimming and heavy lifting for at least a week and are usually able to go back to their normal routine within two weeks. 

While, in case of an open surgery, a patient has to stay in the hospital for about one to two days and is advised not to carry out any physical activities for a few weeks. It may take 6-8 weeks for a patient to recover fully and return back to performing daily activities.

Long term outlook of the treatment

Although rare, a person may develop abdominal symptoms even after going through a surgery to remove the gallbladder stones, and the signs of developing a postcholecystectomy syndrome may include stomach upset, nausea or vomiting, gas, diarrhea, bloating and persistent pain in the upper right abdomen. Considering the condition, chances of getting the condition back are rare. Typically, the gallstones might reappear within 3 years after going through the surgical procedure. However, one should take adequate measures and follow a healthy and balanced diet that contains refined carbohydrates, less calories and high fibre like that of fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, fish and nuts such as peanuts and cashew reduce the risk of developing gallstones to a higher extent.

Pristyn Care for the treament

Gallstones Patients Testimonials

Experts Say

Case Study

On the 7th of November, a 45-year-old woman came to us after complaining of severe abdominal pain for the past 5 days. After our doctor carried out a thorough diagnosis, it was found that the patient had a 20mm gallstone. Dr. Amol Gosavi explained everything about the problem very clearly to the patient. Based on his diagnosis, Dr. Gosavi approached the minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure for the treatment. 

Since the laparoscopic procedure is an advanced method of treatment, the surgery was completed smoothly and the patient was prepared for a discharge within the next 6-8 hours of undergoing the surgery. As the patient continues to recover, she has been constantly following up with the doctor ever since and has been properly following the post-operative instructions of the doctor.  

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Cities Where We Treat Gallstone


Q1. Will I have any digestive problems after a gallbladder removal surgery?

Normally, a person who has their gallbladder removed will not experience any digestive problems. However, they might face some difficulty in digesting fatty foods for the first month after the surgery. In such cases, it is advised to maintain a low-fat diet.

Q2. What should I eat after a gallbladder removal surgery?

People who go through a gallbladder removal surgery should avoid fatty, greasy or fried food, spicy food, carbonated beverages and any sort of alcoholic drinks.

Q3. Why does my poop smell so bad after gallbladder removal?

Large amounts of bile reaching the colon may cause irritation resulting in diarrhea with a yellow hue due to which some people might experience yellow diarrhea or smelly poop after a gallbladder removal surgery. The increased amount of bile salts can also make one’s bowel movements have a more potent smell as well.

Q4. Does a gallbladder removal shorten life expectancy?

Certainly not. A gallbladder removal surgery may rather increase your life-expectancy as your post-surgery habits force you to make a healthier dietary choice.

Facts and statistics around gallstones

  • 6.12% of the adult population in India are diagnosed with gallstones.
  • India is a high incidence area for gallbladder cancer and contributes to about 10% of the total cases globally.
  • In developed countries, 85% of the gallstones are cholesterol stones.
  • 2 out of every 8 women are diagnosed with gallstones whereas the ratio among men is just 1 out of every 18 men.
  • Older people are at a higher risk of developing gallstones as compared to younger ones.

Why choose Pristyn Care for a gallbladder removal surgery?

  • Pristyn Care works with some of the reputed and highly experienced laparoscopic surgeons and gallstone specialists around the country who have experience in delivering surgical treatment for gallstones and gallbladder removal with a proven success rate.
  • Pristyn Care is associated with some of the most reputed hospitals in the country that are equipped with state-of-art facilities required to perform advanced laparoscopic surgeries.
  • Gastroenterologists/ General Surgeons working with Pristyn Care do a thorough consultation in the case of every patient to understand their health condition and then determine the best method of treatment that will work for the patient.
  • A dedicated ‘care buddy’ is assigned to every patient on the day of the surgery. We strive to make the whole surgical experience for our patients a seamless one. Once you reach the hospital, your dedicated medical attendant or ‘care buddy’ will take care of every paperwork and formality on your behalf.
  • To ease out the commuting process for our patients, we also provide free cab facilities to bring you from home to the hospital and help you return back home after the surgery.
  • A free-of-cost follow-up is provided to the patients within the first seven days after the surgery.

How to book an appointment with hernia specialists at Pristyn Care?

Every surgery at Pristyn Care is done using the most advanced medical technology and equipment. Pristyn Care ensures that a patient has a care-filled and hassle-free experience. Being one of the leading health tech startups in India dedicated to simplifying the surgical experience of every patient, we provide end-to-end facilities to our patients and give complete assistance in their treatment journey. You can book an appointment and get in touch with our doctors virtually from the comfort of your home or anywhere by dialing on the given numbers or by filling up the ‘Book Appointment’ form below. 

     During the initial consultation, the doctor will have a detailed discussion and examine the condition of your gallbladder. After a thorough assessment, the doctor will come up with the best treatment plan for you and take you through all the necessary steps to get your gallstones removed in the most efficient and effective way. 

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