A gallbladder with marked cholelithiasis (gallstones), filled with hundreds of c…

A gallbladder with marked cholelithiasis (gallstones), filled with hundreds of cholesterol stones!!
Cholelithiasis is the presence of one or more calculi (gallstones) in the gallbladder.
The disease tends to be asymptomatic is the majority of cases, with the most common presenting symptom being right upper quadrant (biliary colic) or epigastric abdominal pain or discomfort, especially after a fat-rich meal. Other symptoms include belching, bloating, flatulence, heartburn, and nausea.
The term biliary colic refers to paid due to a gallstone trying to pass but fails due to its size and temporarily blocking and obstructing the bile duct.
Cholesterol stones account for > 85% of gallstones, and for them to actually form, bile must be supersaturated with cholesterol, with nucleation and stone growth.
See, normally, water-insoluble cholesterol is made water soluble by combining with bile salts and lecithin to form mixed micelles. Supersaturation of bile with cholesterol most commonly results from excessive cholesterol secretion but may result from a decrease in bile salt secretion or in lecithin secretion.
Thus, the excess cholesterol must precipitate from solution as solid microcrystals, which aggregates and grows.
Either open or laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic stones is the treatment of choice!
Photo by Dr. Karl-Heinz Günther

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