Gall Stones and Gall Bladder Disease

Gall Stones and Gall Bladder Disease

New Jersey Gall Bladder surgeons

New Jersey General Surgeons, Dr. Rocco Tutela, Scott Rosen, Steven Curtiss specializing in laparoscopy minimally invasive Gall Bladder treatment and care.

Gallstones and the diseases which are caused by them, are the most common general surgical problem, the surgeons of Highland Park Surgical Associates treat. While not all gall stones cause problems, those that do should undergo prompt surgical evaluation.
Gall stones most commonly form from precipitation of cholesterol in bile. Bile is created and drains into a pipe or duct which passes from the liver into the gut. When we are in a fasting state the body closes the gate on pipe and bile backs up and is stored in the Gall Bladder.

In the Gall bladder the bile sits and concentrates while awaiting stimulation from a meal. During this time the cholesterol precipitates out.
As this cholesterol precipitates out, fine stones begin to aggregate. Just like an oyster forms a pearl these stones will increase in size.
When the gut recognizes a meal, a hormone signals the pipe to open and Gall Bladder to contract. With this contraction, anything in the gall bladder will try to move through the ducts and into the gut. If stones are in the gall bladder they can block the ducts and cause an array related diseases.

Cholecystitis and Colic

When the stones get caught between the gall bladder and the bile duct the gall bladder will swell causing colicky pain. If left untreated or the stone doesn’t allow passage of the stored bile through the ducts, infection can set in causing cholecysitis.
Prompt surgical intervention is required along with antibiotics and IV fluids,
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is the most common general surgical procedure performed by our HPSA surgeons and is always performed safely.

Cholangitis and Choledocholithiasis

When the stones pass beyond the gall bladder and its duct and get caught in the main bile duct a more life-threatening process can occur. Often associated with jaundice which is the yellowing of the skin and eyes, the stone can block the entire livers drainage system and make a patient very ill very quickly. Once accompanied by fever and pain the patient needs prompt drainage by a gastroenterologist or sometimes interventional radiologist. Once the patient improves, the gall bladder is then removed, most commonly by laparoscopy.

Gall Stone Pancreatitis

If the stone makes it beyond the two previously mentioned points it may still obstruct further downstream. Which will block the duct which drains the pancreas and joins the bile duct. If this occurs, inflammation and infection of the pancreas may occur as well. Pancreatitis is the most severe consequence associated with gall stone disease. Treated similarly to choledocholithiasis, once the patient recovers from his/her pancreatitis, the gall bladder is removed.

In this situation is highly recommended to remove the gall bladder prior to the patients discharge from the hospital. Occasionally abscesses or cysts are accompanied by the inflamed pancreas and these may need to be addressed by open surgical techniques, which your HPSA surgeons are adept at performing.
From simple pain to systemic infection your Highland Park Surgical Associates pride themselves on their abilities to recognize and treat the many different aspects of Gall Stone disease. If you or a family member is suffering please do not hesitate to call us in consultation. We would be happy to answer your questions and guide you.