What is Biliary Colic?
Biliary colic, also known as gallbladder attack, is a steady or intermittent pain in the upper abdomen, usually under the right side of the rib cage. Biliary colic mainly occurs when gallstones temporarily block the bile duct during the contraction of the gallbladder. Biliary colic increases the gallbladder wall tension. In many cases, the pain of this biliary colic resolves over 30 - 90 minutes, as the gallbladder relaxes and the obstruction is relieved.
Gallstones are a general case for a common man, because they rarely cause any symptoms and many people are unaware of their presence. Approximately one-third of the population which is affected by gallstones will develop the painful symptoms of biliary colic.
What is the cause of Biliary colic?
Biliary colic happens when the gallbladder contracts and causes a gallstone to temporarily block the duct that drains the gallbladder. Gallstones are hard masses that form in the gallbladder. They can be small and numerous, or large and few. Gallstones form due to chemical imbalances in bile or infrequent or incomplete emptying of the gallbladder.
Increased pressure in the gallbladder causes the pain and discomfort associated with biliary colic.
1. What are the symptoms of Biliary colic?
The person suffering from biliary colic complains of an ache or pain in the upper-right part of the abdomen. In some cases, this pressure can spread towards the back of the right shoulder. Other symptoms include:
2. What are the main risk factors associated with biliary colic?
The main risk factors associated with biliary colic are:
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop gallstones than men. This is because estrogen, the female sex hormone, can make gallstones more likely to form.
- Heredity: A family history of gallstones increases the risk of gallbladder problems.
- Age: Gallstones are more common in people older than 40.
- Ethnicity: Native Americans and Mexican-Americans are more prone to gallstones than other groups.
- Body weight: Overweight or obese people may have more cholesterol in their bile, which helps stones form. Rapid weight loss and fasting also raises the amount of cholesterol in the bile.
3. What can be the possible ways to prevent bilary colic?
To prevent biliary colic, one should take the following prevention:
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Avoiding fatty food and high-fat dairy products
- Dietary modification
4. How is biliary colic diagnosed?
The standard imaging test is an ultrasound. Your doctor will pass a special wand across your belly. It bounces sound waves off the inner organs and can reveal the presence of gallstones. In some cases, your doctor may order computed tomography (a CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or other diagnostic tests.
5. How is biliary colic treated?
- The usual treatment for gallstones is surgery to remove the gallbladder. This is known as a cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic surgery, or keyhole surgery, is the most common way to perform a cholecystectomy. It's often performed as an outpatient procedure. In some cases, open surgery may be required. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdominal area. For this procedure, a hospital stay is required during recovery.
If you can't have surgery, your doctor can try other procedures to dissolve or break up the gallstones. In such cases, the gallstones may come back within a few years.
Which specialty of doctor is to be consulted for the treatment of Biliary Colic in India?
Which hospital is to be preferred for the treatment of Biliary Colic in India?