Gallstones

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Christine Jeffries

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ask: Some small gallstones were left in my body after surgery, can they cause any damage?

By Anonymous

My gallbladder was removed laproscopically and there were a lot of extremely small stones. The doctors removed the majority of the stones that escaped during the surgery, but some were left in my abdomen. I am wondering what they will do to my system and the other organs as they are extremely hard cholesterol stones. Thank you for any information you can provide.

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Anonymous

Ms. Cook,
Thank you for the link. My 16 year old daughter has been having problems which I suspect may be related to gallstones.
Sincerely,
Lynda Self

January 12, 2011 - 11:19am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Lynda

Thanks for your post. From it, I can assume you know the symptoms of possible gallbladder problems. The best thing you can do is to get your daughter in for a checkup as soon as possible, to prevent things from getting serious (or terribly painful). Please do this as soon as you can and we'd love to have an update.

Best to your daughter,
~Susan

January 12, 2011 - 2:28pm
Cary Cook BSN RN

Hello Anonymous

Some people walk around with gallstones and never have a problem and don't have to have their gallbladder removed. Other people don't even have stones but end up with sludge or a poorly functioning gallbladder and need surgery. Gallstones can be like tiny grains of sand or they can be large.

What did your surgeon tell you about the situation and your odds? It can be difficult and sometimes dangerous to chase the stones through your bile duct or biliary tree. It can cause inflammation in the duct or your pancreas and other issues.

I'm guessing that the surgeon felt the danger of trying to grab all the stones was greater than the danger of leaving them. Stones can cause problems if they are lodged in your bile duct or biliary tree. It is hard to predict whether that would happen. I would discuss this with the surgeon at length and be honest about your concerns. But having seen patients in the hospital with pancreatitis and other biliary issues secondary to testing or trying to grab stones that were not in the gallbladder, I might be okay with leaving some small ones if there was a good reason for it.

I found a site with a nice diagram and good explanation of the whole gallstone issue that may help you understand this better: http://www.ddc.musc.edu/public/problems/diseases/pancreas/gallstones.cfm. I hope this helps you. Please let me know if you have further questions. Thank you for writing.

September 18, 2010 - 4:01pm
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