Cholelithiasis is the detection of stones in bile ducts. Gallstones are developed in the biliary tract, generally in the gallbladder. Gallstones are produced inside the gallbladder, the organ that retains bile excreted from the liver.

Gallstones are a general health disorder worldwide. Gallstones can develop in any part of the biliary tree, which may include the gallbladder and the common bile duct. Blockage of the common bile duct is choledocholithiasis.

Associated Complications

The stone does not reach the duodenum, but keep blocking the cystic duct resulting in acute cholecystitis. Gallbladder calculi are quite uncommon in children. However, the case of cholelithiasis has been elevating recently. Children may carry cholesterol gallstones, black or brown textured stones, or mixed type gallstones.

  • Further complexities of gall bladder ailments include gallstone ileus, biliary cirrhosis, gallstone pancreatitis, and gallbladder cancer.
  • The size of gallstones may be small as a single particle of sand, or it can also grow as large as an inch in size, depending on the length of time they have been developing.
  • Hindrance in the biliary tree can cause jaundice.
  • Obstruction of the outlet of the pancreatic exocrine passage can lead to pancreatitis.
  • A stone blocking the passage from the gallbladder or cystic duct generally develops symptoms of biliary colic, which is in the upper right abdominal ache and gives a feeling of cramping.
  • Complications that are seen in adults suffering with this condition may also be witnessed in children.
  • Gallstones may leads to irritation and inflammation of the gallbladder mucosa, leading to chronic calculous cholecystitis and signs of biliary colic.
  • Chronic gallstone ailment may result in fibrosis and weakness in the functioning of the gallbladder and predisposes to gallbladder cancer.

Causes of Choledocholithiasis

Gallstones are rocklike conglomeration of material that is collected inside the gallbladder. Different kinds exist, and they are known by their basic formation; cholesterol stones are very common (75-80% in the United States) and it may include pigment and mixed stones.

  • The stones are developed when there is a disorder or changes in the formation of bile.
  • The second reason is the traces of proteins in the bile along with the liver that can encourage or restrain the process of cholesterol crystallization into gallstones.
  • Cholesterol gallstones form when bile carries too much cholesterol and less bile salt.
  • In addition to a high concentration of cholesterol, two other reasons seem to be prominent in forming gallstones.
  • Acute gallstone pancreatitis is also identified by epigastric tenderness.
  • In serious cases, retroperitoneal hemorrhage may generate periumbilical ecchymoses and flanks.
  • Sickle cell disease is also detected as an independent risk factor which is linked with an elevation in the frequency of cholelithiasis.

Symptom of Choledocholithiasis

Gallbladder sludge is crystallization in bile without forming any stone. Cholesterol gallstones may settle with bacteria and can lead to gallbladder mucosal inflammation. Gallstones are seen in almost about 80% of patients suffering with gallbladder cancer.

  • Elevated levels of the hormone estrogen because of pregnancy, hormone medications, or intake of birth control pills may accelerate cholesterol levels in bile and also cut down gallbladder activities, resulting in gallstone creation. The biliary colic ache is not alleviated by bowel movement.
  • Other symptoms may include bloating, belching, cholelithiasis, indigestion, dyspepsia, and incompatibility with fat.
  • Albeit, these are uncertainty and it occur in similar frequencies in individuals having gallstones or may not having gallstones; cholecystectomy has not been seen to develop these symptoms.
  • Symptoms of gallbladder cancer are generally not witnessed until it has progressed to an advanced stage which may include anemia, weight loss, recurrent vomiting, and a lump in the stomach.

Treatment of Choledocholithiasis

There are different treatments available for Cholelithiasis.

  • Electrohydraulic shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is often used to treat cholelithiasis. Urodeoxycholic acid (UDCA, ursodiol), a more traditional medical therapy, has been successful in treating only 40% of cases.
  • Both CDCA and UDCA therapies are beneficial for gallstones formed by cholesterol only.
  • Surgical removal of the gallbladder, or cholecystectomy, is basically required to cure symptoms associated with gallstones. It is an otherwise safe procedure that does not leave any nutritional complications.
  • If surgery is not advisable, bile salts can be taken orally to dissolve gallstones. Although, the time taken may by longer in dissolving the gallstones, and as the gallbladder is still present, it may recur.
  • Laparoscopic therapy, which have been utilized since years in the genre of gynecology, have of late been considered to cholecystectomy; it cuts down complications, cost and recovery time.
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is associated with a less incidence of intra-abdominal adhesions, scar formation and wound site hernia. Postoperative pain is also alleviated, and recuperation time is shorter.
  • Lithotripsy has been suggested as auxiliary treatment for unsuccessful endoscopic stone extraction and for retained ductal stones after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
  • Removal of gallbladder to treat gallstone disease is the most frequently done abdominal surgical operations.
  • When the cancer is detected at primary stage and has not affected extensively then the mucosa and the extraction of the gallbladder may lead to five-year survival rates in 68% of the patient.

If cancer has spread deeper, more comprehensive surgery or other medications may be advised.