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Digestive Surgery Clinic

Stones In The Body

Stones In The Body

It is very interesting that a human body may produce stones within it. A human body is otherwise all about flesh, fluid and bones.

But Stones? Seems strange!
But the fact is the human body may produce stones in certain parts of the body due to disease process.

It may happen in the gallbladder, liver and the bile duct that can lead to pain, jaundice and sometime pancreatitis and rarely cancer.

Stones may form in the pancreas that can lead to pain, diabetes and fat maldigestion.

It may also happen in the urinary tract that may cause pain, infection, blood passage in urine and kidney damage.

So, how do stones form?

Interestingly, the stones form from the very fluid that the organ produces. As an example gallbladder stones form from the cholesterol normally present in the bile. Knowledge of how stones form may be utilised to prevent stone formation in susceptible individuals. For instance a patient having risk of producing kidney stones should decrease his meat and milk consumption to decrease the oxalate level that is responsible for stone formation.

The treatment of stones has been in the form of medicines or surgery depending on the situation. Hence gallstones are treated by surgery – invariably by laparoscopic surgery these days. Medical therapy or resorting to unscientific methods in these cases is futile. Laparoscopic surgery can now be employed even for bile duct stones in trained hands. The revolution brought by Laparoscopy has enabled patients to get back to normal life in very little time. Bile duct stones and pancreatic stones in many cases can also be handled by endoscopic methods. Patients with kidney stones have something to rejoice about. Many can now be managed by lithotripsy – a noninvasive method of breaking stones by sending shock waves into the stones.

There are however certain myths in the society that needs to be dispelled

1. All Stones can be dissolved by medicines.

No, it is not possible in many situations as described earlier. Surgery may be needed in such situations. Postponing surgery because of fear may invite complications that may be fatal.

2. Stones may come back again.

Although it may be true for urinary stones, it’s usually not correct for biliary stones. The gallbladder in gallstone disease is completely removed precluding any chance of recurrence.

3. Smaller stones will not cause problems.

This is not a good assumption. In case of biliary stones, a small stone may pass off in the pancreatic duct and lead to pancreatitis. The latter may be fatal in some cases.

To conclude, stones in the body may cause serious problems. They should receive prompt attention by the specialist. Their treatment has, in modern age, become safe and comfortable. And that should prevent any irrational fear on behalf of the patient from taking up the right treatment.


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