Gallstones

Gallstones in the gallbladder are common, occurring in 10-20% of the population, and do not cause symptoms in most people.  However when symptoms do develop, medical attention should be sought as the majority of patients will get recurrent symptoms and a minority will develop more serious complications such as inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), bile duct (cholangitis) or pancreas (pancreatitis).

Symptoms can include:

  • Upper abdominal pain, often spreading to the right-hand side or back
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Symptoms coming on after eating
  • Prolonged pain, fever or jaundice may develop with complications

Common tests to investigate gallstones include an abdominal ultrasound scan, magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) and an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP).

More information: www.corecharity.org.uk/Information