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Gallstones - discharge

Chronic cholecystitis - discharge; Dysfunctional gallbladder - discharge; Choledocholithiasis - discharge; Cholelithiasis - discharge; Acute cholecystitis

You have gallstones. These are hard, pebble-like deposits that formed inside your gallbladder. This article tells you how to take care of yourself when you leave the hospital.

When You're in the Hospital

You may have had an infection in your gallbladder. You may have received drugs to reduce the swelling and fight the infection. You may have surgery to remove your gallbladder or to remove a gallstone that is blocking a bile duct.

What to Expect at Home

You may continue to have pain and other symptoms if your gallstones return or were not removed.

Self-care

You may be on a liquid diet for some time to give your gallbladder a rest. When you are eating regular food again, avoid overeating. If you are overweight try to lose weight.

Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. Ask your health care provider about stronger pain medicines.

Take any medicines you have been given to fight infection the way you were told to. You may be able to take medicines that dissolve gallstones, but they may take 6 months to 2 years to work.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you have:

  • Steady, severe pain in your upper belly
  • Pain in your back, between your shoulder blades that does not go away is getting worse
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • Yellow color to your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Grey or chalky white bowel movements

References

Fogel EL, Sherman S. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 155.

Glasgow RE, Mulvihill SJ. Treatment of gallstone disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 66.

    • Cholelithiasis

      Cholelithiasis - illustration

      Normally a balance of bile salts, lecithin and cholesterol keep gallstones from forming. If there are abnormally high levels of bile salts or, more commonly, cholesterol, stones can form. Symptoms usually occur when the stones block one of the biliary ducts or gallstones may be discovered upon routine x-ray or abdominal CT study.

      Cholelithiasis

      illustration

      • Cholelithiasis

        Cholelithiasis - illustration

        Normally a balance of bile salts, lecithin and cholesterol keep gallstones from forming. If there are abnormally high levels of bile salts or, more commonly, cholesterol, stones can form. Symptoms usually occur when the stones block one of the biliary ducts or gallstones may be discovered upon routine x-ray or abdominal CT study.

        Cholelithiasis

        illustration

      A Closer Look

       

      Review Date: 12/2/2016

      Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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