The best test for gallstones is an ultrasound. It’s quick and safe and gives us a lot of information about how the gallbladder looks, and it has pretty high accuracy. The ultrasound tech will be able to see gallstones or gallbladder irritation, such as a thickened wall or fluid around the gallbladder.
Some patients may be referred for a second kind of test called an HIDA (hepatobiliary) scan, in which a radioactive chemical is injected into your arm and the tech watches what happens when it reaches your gallbladder. Generally, HIDA scans are only performed on patients who have other underlying conditions or who have gallbladder pain symptoms, but no stones on an ultrasound.
Escaped stones could lead to jaundice or pancreatitis and require surgery.
If it’s not causing symptoms, or if you pass it as a few lucky people do, nothing. But if they are causing trouble,the gallbladder may need to be removed. If the person is experiencing pain, called biliary colic, or develops a gallbladder infection, called cholecystitis, gallbladder surgery is probably needed.
If the stones get outside your gallbladder and travel down the duct, they can cause some pretty serious complications, so it’s important to have them taken care of if you’re having a problem.
Escaped stones can cause obstructions in the ducts that lead to jaundice or pancreatitis, Any of these symptoms would require gallbladder surgery, called cholecystectomy.
Gallbladder removal surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, with a short recovery time and for most people,no long-lasting effects.