Nearly 25 million people in the United States have gallstones. At Long Island Gastro in Syosset, New York, board-certified gastroenterologists, Jaydeep Kadam, MD, and Kostas Sideridis, DO, understand how disruptive abdominal pain and other symptoms of gallstones can be. The team offers comprehensive diagnostic care, including on-site ERCP testing, to confirm gallstones. They also customize treatment for gallstones, including surgery to remove the gallbladder. Learn more about your options for treating gallstones by calling Long Island Gastro or using the online booking system to request an appointment today.
Gallstones develop when a buildup of particles occurs in the bile — a fluid your liver makes to digest fats from your diet. Your gallbladder stores bile to support digestion; when particles build up in the fluid, it can cause blockages that interfere with your gastrointestinal health.
You may be prone to gallstones if your bile has too much cholesterol or bilirubin — a chemical your body produces to break down red blood cells. Too much bilirubin may result from infections or underlying conditions, like liver cirrhosis.
Gallstones may also form when your gallbladder is working properly, such as failing to empty completely. This leads to bile that’s very concentrated, which can result in the formation of stones.
It’s possible to have gallstones without symptoms. Some stones are too small to interfere with normal function in your gastrointestinal tract. However, if your gallstones are large and cause a blockage, you may experience:
You may also develop jaundice — a condition in which your skin and the whites of your eyes begin to yellow due to liver dysfunction.
Don’t delay evaluation of sudden, unexplained abdominal pain at Long Island Gastro to prevent additional health complications that can result in hospitalization.
During your evaluation of gallstone-related symptoms, your Long Island Gastro provider reviews your medical history and the severity of your symptoms.
To confirm gallstones, you may need an abdominal ultrasound. This noninvasive test provides real-time images of your gastrointestinal tract to identify gallstone and assess their size and location.
The team at Long Island Gastro also offers on-site ERCP, which combines the technology of endoscopy and fluoroscopy to identify gallstones.
If you have gallstones that aren’t causing pain or other symptoms, the Long Island Gastro team may take a wait-and-see approach. If you’re having symptoms of large gallstones or stones are obstructing the bile ducts, you may need medications that dissolve stones.
When ERCP is used to diagnose gallstones, your Long Island Gastro provider can use specialized tools through the endoscope to break up or remove the stones during the same procedure.
If you have recurrent gallstones that interfere with your quality of life, your provider may suggest a cholecystectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder. You can live a healthy, full life without a gallbladder and typically won’t need to alter your lifestyle or diet following this type of procedure.
If you need help managing recurrent gallstones or need diagnostic pain for sudden abdominal pain, call Long Island Gastro today or request a consultation online at any time.