Gall stones are abnormal concretions of cholesterol and other pigments that occur in the gall bladder. The main function of the gall bladder is to store and evacuate bile. When the gall bladder becomes diseased, the concentrating mechanism of the gall bladder gets affected and the stones form. Many a times when patients present to the clinic with symptoms, the common question that they ask is whether it is possible to treat only the stones and not remove the gall bladder. It is important to understand that the primary culprit is the gall bladder and not the stone. Hence removal of stones alone will not help.
Gall stones may be silent or they may complicate the whole affair by blocking the passage of bile. This might cause jaundice and result in infections and sometimes the hall bladder, especially in patients with diabetes, may become filled with pus and perforate.
Also if the stone blocks the bile duct, then surgery might have to be deferred. An ERCP procedure might have to be done to relieve jaundice and to extract the stone.
People with gallstone disease and symptoms should seek help actively. This may go a long way in preventing future complications.