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A 39-year-old member asked:

what to know before using ursofalk (ursodeoxycholic acid) to treat gallstones?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Uyeda
General Surgery 45 years experience
Oral dissolution: for gallstones is not very successful in general. This medication is only effective for gallstones with specific composition and size. It can cause liver damage. It also takes a long time for stones to dissolve. And they can re-form even after complete dissolution. For these reasons, preferred treatment for symptomatic gallstones is surgical cholecystectomy.
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
Does not work for calcified gallstones and is not indicated for stones larger than 2 cm
Aug 17, 2014

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A 24-year-old member asked:

Are there successful, non-surgical techniques for gallstone removal?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Yes, but...: ....I recommend surgery. Back in the 1980s, when we first developed lithotripsy (shock wave rx) for removal of kidney stones, we experimented with this for gallstones. Similarly, there are medications that can dissolve some gallstones. Alternative therapies advocate "gallbladder flushes". Unfortunately, all of these leave behind the "gallstone factory"; the best treatment at present is surgery.
CA
A 25-year-old member asked:

Is it possible for liver parasites to cause gallstones?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michio Abe
Internal Medicine 26 years experience
Yes: It is not common in the US bu in Asia you can get parasitic infection with a liver fluke called Clonorchis sinensis, and get a gallstone as a result.
CA
A 42-year-old member asked:

If I have elevated calcium in my blood is that a good indication of gallstones?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sidney Vinson
Gastroenterology 27 years experience
No: Gallstones generally are not related to hypercalcemia though some gallstones are made of calcium. Most gallstones are asymptomatic. Symptoms from gallstones generally includes right upper abdominal crampy pain which may radiate to the upper back or shoulders. Elevated calcium can be a symptom of hyperparathyroidism and should be further evaluated.
A 19-year-old member asked:

I have gallstones. Im 18, weighs 44kg nd I don't eat much fatty foods. My dad had gallstones and I was on brth cntrl pill. Which caused my gallstones?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Hard to know.: Both your family history and bcp use could have contributed to gallstone formation--it's hard to know which was more important. Regardless, you are joining a very large group of people who have gallstones. More important than the stones is whether they are causing any pain--"silent" gallstones require no further treatment.
A 40-year-old member asked:

What is the best thing to do when you are starting to have a gallstone attack?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
Avoid causing factor: Best it to try to avoid getting an attack in the first place. Avoid fried, fatty, greasy foods (hot dogs, cheese pizza, french fries, fried chicken, etc). Drink plenty of liquids and eat healthy foods, fruits and vegetables. Pain medication may be the only relief of an "attack" once it has begun. See you doctor if there is increasing pain, inability to eat, vomiting, fever, yellow jaundice.

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Last updated Aug 17, 2014

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