Not really. Gall stones do not go away on their own. Non surgical treatments usually do not work and are offered to patients who are unfit to undergo surgery. Some medicines do exists that may dissolve the gallstones. But, stones usually recur after these treatments. Silent stones that have been detected by chance on routine Ultrasound scan and never caused any symptoms do not need treatment. But once they have started to cause symptoms, it is likely that they will continue to do so unless gall bladder is removed. If silent stones are detected in diabetics, surgery is warranted as there is high chance of infection in diabetics. Diabetics may not present with abdominal pain like other patients with gall stones present.
Gallstones can block the flow of bile out of the gallbladder causing it to swell, called Cholecystitis. Gall stones may slip out of the gallbladder into the bile duct and can block the flow of bile causing jaundice, or they may cause acute inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis. Once the gall stones have slipped and blocked the bile duct, it becomes necessary to remove the stones in the bile duct by a procedure called ERCP and then to proceed with laparoscopic cholecystectomy. If you experience severe abdominal pain, fever with chills , jaundice contact doctor immediately. Gall stones also are risk factor for the development of gallbladder cancer which is regarded as one of the worst cancers.
About 3% patients land with symptoms or complications every year due to gall stones.
Open surgery was the standard treatment but the advent of laparoscopic surgery 30 years ago has changed the scenario. Today laparoscopic surgery is the preferred treatment since it is proved to reduce pain and suffering of the patient significantly compared to open surgery and has been proved to be safe.
A.V.Hospital, Basavanagudi has the largest experience of Laparoscopic Gall Bladder Removal in the state of Karnataka.