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Gallstones - discharge

Alternate Names

Chronic cholecystitis - discharge; Dysfunctional gallbladder - discharge; Choledocholithiasis – discharge; Cholelithiasis - discharge

When You Were in the Hospital

You have gallstones, hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder. You received drugs to reduce the swelling and to fight the infection. You may have had surgery to remove your gallbladder or to remove a gallstone that is blocking a duct.

What to Expect at Home

You may continue to have pain and other symptoms if your gallstones return.

Self-care

You may be on a liquid diet for some time to give your gallbladder a rest. When you are eating regular food again, avoid overeating. If you are overweight try to lose weight.

Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. Ask your doctor about stronger pain medicines. If your doctor prescribed drugs to help fight an infection, take them as your doctor told you to.

You may be able to take drugs that dissolve gallstones, but they may take 6 months to 2 years to work.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have:

  • Steady, severe pain in your upper belly
  • Pain in your back, between your shoulder blades that does not go away is getting worse
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • Yellow color to your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Grey or chalky white bowel movements

References

Chari RS, Shah SA. Biliary System. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 18th ed. St. Louis, M0: WB Saunders; 2008: chap. 54.

Diseases of the Gallbladder and Bile Ducts. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap. 159.


Review Date: 3/6/2009
Reviewed By: George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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