Most people do not know that they have gallstones until they are found while doing another test. This condition is usually not symptomatic and does not require treatment for many people. Gallstones only become a problem when one gets caught up in your cystic duct. This action drains your gallbladder. Common symptoms include severe and sudden pain to the stomach, back pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, shivering, dark urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice. Read on to find out how gallstones are diagnosed using an abdominal ultrasound.
How Is The Test Done?
An abdominal ultrasound is one of the best tests for diagnosing gallstones. This test can find the location of gallstones and evaluate them. A technologist performs this test, which is done by moving a wand across your stomach. The ultrasound machine creates pictures of your gallbladder that are shown on a video screen.
These images are evaluated to find evidence of gallstones. An abdominal ultrasound can also reveal any problems the gallstones caused to your bile ducts and gallbladder. For more information on how ultrasounds work, contact a company like EVDI Medical Imaging.
Why You Should Get Your Bile Duct Checked
If your gallstones are symptomatic, then you should have your bile duct checked. Your gallbladder connects to your bile duct through a small tube known as a cystic duct. The bile duct is a tube structure that attaches your liver to your intestine.
Your doctor may want to follow up your ultrasound by doing a test on your bile ducts. A special dye is used to highlight your bile ducts in images, which is called an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Your doctor evaluates these images to determine if a gallstone is blocking a bile duct. This procedure allows your doctor to remove gallstones that are causing obstruction.
Check For Complications
You should have a blood test to check for any complications caused by this condition. A complete blood count is a blood test that can detect a variety of disorders, such as infections, pancreatitis, jaundice, leukemia, and anemia. If you have a high white blood cell count, then this is a sign of infection.
Other signs are elevated enzymes and high bilirubin levels. These are signs that you have an obstruction in your gallbladder.
After you are diagnosed with gallstones, the next step is treatment. Many doctors recommend getting your gallbladder removed because the gallstones can come back. The success rate of laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is nearly 100 percent. It helps to understand that you have options. You should explore other treatment options before agreeing to have surgery.