What causes gallstones?

Assoc. Prof. Didem Öncel Yakar

Dr Öncel Yakar’s comments

Stones located in the gallbladder where some of the bile produced by the liver is stored are called gallstones. They can vary in size from sand grains to the size of a walnut. They are formed by the increase in the amount of some chemical substances in the content of bile stored by the gallbladder. In order for cholesterol in the body to become water-soluble, it is converted by bile salts and several other substances. If there is more cholesterol than bile can dissolve, the amount above it accumulates and forms first crystals and then yellow colored and soft cholesterol stones. 80% of gallstones in the Western world are of this type. Other gallstones, on the other hand, depend on the mechanism of the formation of dark brown or black pigment stones with a hard consistency, either due to an infection in the biliary tract or as a result of excessive production of the chemical substance called bilirubin, due to the increased destruction of blood products in some blood diseases. In these processes, the incomplete emptying of the gallbladder due to insufficient mechanical contraction of the gallbladder also contributes to the accumulation of bile crystals and the growth of these crystals over time to form gallstones.

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.