man slightly hunched over whilst holding side of stomach in pain

Four Common Misconceptions About Gallstones

Gallstones form in the gallbladder and are usually formed of little stones made of cholesterol. They’re often symptomless and don’t require treatment, but can be quite common. If you have gallstones, it’s important to know the truth about the condition, as there are lots of myths and misconceptions about gallstones. Some of the more common gallstone myths are laid out below, with the purpose of allowing patients to learn more about their condition.

Gallstones always need to be treated

One of the main misconceptions about gallstones is that they always need to be treated. This is incorrect, as many cases of gallstones cause no discomfort at all, and many people with gallstones don’t even know they have them. There is no set size or shape for gallstones, although they can grow larger over time, so if you do have them and feel discomfort, it’s best to get them treated as soon as possible. A lot of gallstone cases are discovered when the patient goes in for surgery for other things, and if they aren’t causing pain, they can be left to leave the body naturally.

Gallbladder cancer can be caused by gallstones

A high percentage of people with gallbladder cancer are also found to have gallstones, however, this doesn’t mean that there is a positive correlation between the two. There has been no scientific evidence found to support the conclusion that gallstones directly cause gallbladder cancer – many people happen to have gallstones without realising, which is why people with gallbladder cancer are sometimes found to have gallstones.

Gallstones can be flushed out

One of the main myths about gallstones is that they can be ‘flushed out’ in urine. This may be due to people confusing them with kidney stones, but treatment for gallstones is different, usually being treated by removing the gallstones and gallbladder. Attempting to pass gallstones can actually cause more issues, as they can get stuck in places such as the common bile duct, causing more complications along the way.

Gallstone surgery is dangerous

As with many surgeries available at the moment, gallbladder surgery is often considered to be dangerous by the patient. However, whilst issues do occasionally occur, they are rather rare, and the current surgery for gallstones available at the moment is safe and effective. The vast majority of patients have no further complications from gallstone surgery, and the surgery usually doesn’t require an overnight stay in hospital either, with keyhole surgery often being used to remove gallstones and the gallbladder. If you do decide to go ahead with the removal of your gallstones, we suggest reading our article on how to prepare for gallbladder surgery.

Book an appointment for gallstones

If you’re a patient currently being treated for gallstones, hopefully, the points above will help you to understand your condition better and put your mind at ease. For more information, contact us to speak to one of our trusted medical professionals today.
For information about how to keep your gallbladder healthy, we suggest reading our article ‘Diet And Lifestyle Tips For A Healthy Gallbladder’.