How do gallstones cause jaundice?

Assoc. Prof. Didem Öncel Yakar

Dr Öncel Yakar’s comments

The gallbladder connects to the main bile duct with its own duct (cystic duct) and opens into the duodenum. If the stones formed in the gallbladder pass through the cystic duct and move to the biliary tract, but remain in the bile duct without advancing to the duodenum, the flow of bile into the intestine is mechanically prevented. In this case, the bile contents are absorbed into the blood, thus causing jaundice. In such a clinical scenario, it is necessary to remove the stone that causes obstruction in the biliary tract and to ensure the flow of bile into the intestine in order to both eliminate jaundice and prevent further possible complications. For this purpose, the first preferred treatment method is the fragmentation and removal of the stone by entering the bile duct from the duodenum by passing through the stomach with ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography). In patients in whom this method is unsuccessful or cannot be applied, in addition to removing the gallbladder during surgery, it is also possible to remove the stone and perform additional procedures for the biliary tract.

The gallbladder, which has the task of storing and concentrating some of the bile produced by the liver which is required for fat digestion, is a sac-shaped organ located beneath the liver. Gallstones, which are formed by the imbalance of the chemical composition in the bile, are extremely common. It is reported to be found in approximately one out of every 10 people. Although the incidence is high, it does not always cause symptoms. Gallstones that do not cause complaints do not need to be treated. Gallbladder surgery is required only in case of symptoms or if the physician decides for a surgical procedure for other reasons. Successful results are obtained with laparoscopic cholecystectomy, that is, the method of removing the gallbladder with a minimally invasive method.

With more than 25 years of experience in the surgical treatment of liver-biliary tract-pancreatic diseases and laparoscopic cholecystectomy, in addition to liver transplantation, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Didem Öncel Yakar answers your questions.

With the experience of working in this field for many years and performing many surgeries, we are by your side for diagnosis, selection of appropriate treatment and management of surgical processes in our private practice in Ataşehir. May health be with us in every moment of our lives.