Gallbladder stones, also known as cholelithiasis, are a common health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. The gallbladder is a small organ located in the upper right side of the abdomen that stores bile, a fluid produced by the liver that helps in the digestion of fats. Gallstones are hard, pebble-like deposits that form in the gallbladder and can cause a variety of symptoms and complications.
Medical tourism paves way for a wide range of treatment for gallbladder stones. Platforms like Medditour play a vital role in connecting the patients across the globe seeking treatments for gallbladder stones with the state-of-art hospitals, doctors, and facilitators so that they can get cost-effective quality treatment on time.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons for gallbladder stones, their treatment, and how medical tourism can help people seeking treatment for this condition.
Reasons for Gallbladder Stones
Gallbladder stones are formed when bile contains too much cholesterol or bilirubin, a substance produced when the body breaks down red blood cells. The excess cholesterol or bilirubin can crystallize and form stones. Let’s take a look into the factors influencing the formation of gallbladder stones.
- Age: As people get older, the risk of developing gallstones increases.
- Gender: In general, women are at higher risk of developing gallstones than men. British Liver Trust mentions that about one in four women and one in eight men develop gallstones at some stage in their life.
- Obesity: People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop gallstones.
- Diet: A high-fat, low-fiber diet can increase the risk of gallstones.
- Genetics: Gallstones can run in families.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, liver disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, can increase the risk of gallstones.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Stones
Many people with gallstones do not experience any symptoms, but when they do, they can be quite uncomfortable. People with gallstones might face discomfort like,
- Pain in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Clay-colored stools and dark urine
Treatment for Gallbladder Stones
If gallstones are not causing any symptoms, they may not require treatment. However, if they are causing discomfort or complications, treatment may be necessary. Treatments include the following.
- Surgery: The most common treatment for gallbladder stones is surgery to remove the gallbladder, a procedure known as cholecystectomy. This can be done using traditional open surgery or minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. You might wonder if it is possible to live without a gallbladder. NHS states that we can live a normal life without a gallbladder and that the liver will make enough bile to digest your food, but instead of being stored in the gallbladder, it drips continuously into your digestive system.
- Medications: Certain medications can be used to dissolve gallstones, but this is typically not the preferred treatment option because it can take a long time and the stones can recur.
- Shock wave therapy: In some cases, shock wave therapy can be used to break up gallstones so that they can be passed out of the body more easily.
Medical tourism in treating gallbladder stones
For people seeking treatment for gallbladder stones, medical tourism can provide access to high-quality medical care at a lower cost. Countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Turkey, Mexico, etc. have established medical tourism industries and offer a wide range of medical services, including gallbladder surgery.
Medical tourism can also be an opportunity to explore a new culture and experience a different way of life. Companies like Medditour provide opportunities to combine your treatment cum vacation by providing access to medical tourism packages which include travel, food, accommodation, treatment and rehab support facilities, entertainment, etc. This allows the patient to spend time with their families at international destinations after the surgery, which could probably act as a tool to relieve the stress of surgery. Such facilities help the patients to get back to their routine quickly.
In conclusion, gallbladder stones are very common ones and do cause discomfort to millions of people as they age. Wide range of treatments is available right from medications to surgery for gallbladder stone removal. Medical tourism could be a boon to treat gallbladder stones in a cost-effective manner.