Curious question about Gallstones:

CaptainChris87

New Member
I understand that the number 1 choice for successful removal is performing a Cholecystectomy which is a full removal of the gallbladder. My question is are there any other non surgical methods in removing stones if the size is within 2cm? I heard that the use of shockwaves can also be utilized to dissolve the stones? - I am curious because I have noticed an increase in gallstone cases and was also curious if there are any known airline pilots that have this problem and how they dealt with it. And what is the best way to prevent it?


-Thank You
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
Cholecystectomy is the best way. Lithotripsy (ultrasound shock waves) breaks up big gall stones into small ones. It is the small ones that get stuck in the ducts and cause the problem, not the big stones.

There is a drug (Actigall) for dissolving stones but the problem is they come right back after you stop the medication. It is approved on a case-by-case basis (read Special Issuance) by the FAA. I NEVER use this drug.
 

boondr

Penalty Vectorer
I had mine removed and except for the part where I ignored the symptoms until it became an emergency surgery, it was a quick operation and I was on my feet within eight hours of arriving at the emergency room.

Pain medication will down you though.
 

CaptainChris87

New Member
I had mine removed and except for the part where I ignored the symptoms until it became an emergency surgery, it was a quick operation and I was on my feet within eight hours of arriving at the emergency room.

Pain medication will down you though.
How old are you? and in most cases thats what happens extreme pain and taken to the hospital, then having it removed. I had a ultrasound, xray, and scan done to my abdomen area due to unexplained gas, everything was fine except they found I had 2 tiny pollyps or stones (too small to tell) and im only 20. They were less than .6 mm, The DR. I suggested I go back 2-4 years to see if it increased in size. I dont plan on getting my gallbladder removed ("Non-essential" organ or not) or having the stones get bigger. I guess im kind of glad I caught it early.

Its something im notcing more and more with older people is gallstones, besides cancer. What were your side effects after the opperation? Do you have to watch what you eat such as no more fatty foods?
 

teetee

New Member
If you are really not wanting the gallstones to grow, you should eat how you would have to AFTER having your gallbladder removed. Everything I have read on it says it helps prevent growth.
 

boondr

Penalty Vectorer
How old are you? and in most cases thats what happens extreme pain and taken to the hospital, then having it removed. I had a ultrasound, xray, and scan done to my abdomen area due to unexplained gas, everything was fine except they found I had 2 tiny pollyps or stones (too small to tell) and im only 20. They were less than .6 mm, The DR. I suggested I go back 2-4 years to see if it increased in size. I dont plan on getting my gallbladder removed ("Non-essential" organ or not) or having the stones get bigger. I guess im kind of glad I caught it early.

Its something im notcing more and more with older people is gallstones, besides cancer. What were your side effects after the opperation? Do you have to watch what you eat such as no more fatty foods?

I was 20 when I had it done, I had similar symptoms to yours multiple times and never had it checked out until I started throwing up bile and blood(sorry to be so graphic). My gallbladder was "bigger than a baseball and should have already exploded" After surgery side effects were fatty foods had the same results as a laxative. You get used to it though.
 
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