Gallstones, caused by the crystallization of excess cholesterol in the bile, cause sharp, shooting pain in the upper right of the abdomen. This pain can last from a few minutes to hours; often times, this pain can occur after a high-fat meal.
When infection occurs, or in more extreme cases when the gallbladder bursts, surgery is necessary. The most common removal method is laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, a safe procedure that utilizes a long, thin instrument with a video lens at the tip. The laparoscope gives the surgeon a magnified view of the internal organs. Recovery time is minimal and may require only a short hospital stay.
Who has the greatest risk of developing gallstones? Remember the 5 F’s:
- Full figure
- Fair skin
- Forty and over
While the body does not need the gallbladder for digestion, it’s wise to take preventive measures to avoid this condition altogether. Follow Dr. Oz’s 4-step prevention plan to stay gallstone-free.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Part of maintaining a healthy weight is eating a healthy, balanced diet. Limit your fat intake, and know your vital numbers, including cholesterol levels. Finally, ban yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo dieting causes shifts in the amount of cholesterol in the bile and increases your risk.