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How to Treat & Prevent Gallstones

Learn how to treat and prevent gallstones from gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, M.D. in this Howcast video about stomach problems.

Transcript

So for the most part gallstones are completely asymptomatic and do not cause any problems. The only time they cause problems is if those gallstones leave the gallbladder and get stuck within the duct that drains the gallbladder or gets stuck in the duct that drains the pancreas, at which time if there is a stone that is getting impacted in those ducts you can get inflammation of the gallbladder called cholecystitis, or inflammation of the pancreas causing pancreatitis. Both of them cause a lot of pain and in order to treat them we need to go in and try to extract that stone from the duct. The way we take that stone out is with something called an ERCP, which is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Basically what we do is we pass an endoscope, then pass instruments within the duct and help to make a small cut in order to pull the stone out to relieve the pressure and relieve the pain.

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