The gallbladder sits beneath the liver and stores bile (a key digestive “juice”). Gallstones are crystallized pieces of bile, which can range in size from microscopic to more than one inch. Almost one million Americans are diagnosed with gallstone disease each year. A variety of treatment options are available, with the most common being cholecystectomy.
There are two main types of gallstones; cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones are usually yellow-green in color and are the most common kind, accounting for 80% of gallstones. Pigment stones are smaller and darker. They are made up of bilirubin which comes form bile.
Gallstones may not cause any signs or symptoms. If a gallstone becomes lodged in a duct and causes a blockage, the resulting signs and symptoms may include:
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain located in the center of the abdomen, just below the breastbone
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in the right shoulder
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain located in the upper right portion of your abdomen
- Back pain located between the shoulder blades
Gallstone disease is a common medical problem, affecting 10 to 15 percent of the United States’ population, or well over 25 million people. Nearly one million new cases of gallstone disease are diagnosed every year in this country. Approximately one-quarter of these require treatment, with a cost to society of several billion dollars annually. In recent years, important advances were made in the understanding of gallstone disease and in the development of new treatments.
What causes gallstones?
There are several reasons for gallstones, including:
- Your weight
- Your genes
- Problems with your gallbladder
If you would like to see a GI doctor Palm Beach regarding gallstone disease, please visit Digestive Center of the Palm Beaches. It’s a full-service gastroenterology practice specializing in diseases of the digestive tract and liver, including gallstone disease. Our gastroenterology doctors in Palm Beach Gardens utilize a wide range of digestive endoscopy techniques.
Formed in 2005, Digestive Center of the Palm Beaches has two convenient office locations in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, as well as hospital privileges at Good Samaritan, St. Mary’s and Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Our gastroenterology center is fully certified by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
With over 80 years of combined experience, our gastroenterology specialists in Palm Beach Gardens perform thousands of procedures each year. Our patients are in the hands of the most qualified and highly trained GI doctors. Our physicians are the foremost experts in gallstone disease, digestive wellness and gastrointestinal diseases.
We take pride in providing high-quality healthcare services in a warm and welcoming environment, where guests feel comfortable and secure. The GI doctors, nurses and staff appreciate the confidence and trust that you have placed in us. Our GI practice Palm Beach is a doctor’s office, as well as an outpatient endoscopic facility, specializing in gallstone disease, colon cancer screening and gastroenterology.
Thank you for your interest in Digestive Center of the Palm Beaches. For more information on our center for gastroenterology in Palm Beach Gardens, please browse our website, call or visit one of our office locations or send us a message on our ‘Contact Us’ page.