Choledocholithiasis: How to treat?

The bile is an important substance for the food digestion process , but it needs a balance in its composition. Changes such as the excessive presence of fat in the body, can favor the formation of stones , that is, stones. When they are located in the bile duct (choledochal), choledocholithiasis appears.

These stones cause uncomfortable symptoms and can trigger complications, especially when obstruction of the bile canal occurs Therefore , it is necessary to resort to treatment in order to eliminate them, and that is what we will talk about in this article.
Read on to understand how choledocholithiasis is treated and what can happen if it is not done.

See how recovery from gall bladder surgery works by clicking here!

Types of choledocholithiasis

Before we talk about choledocholithiasis treatments, it is interesting to explain that there are two types of this disease. The classification takes place according to the place where the calculations were formed , and the problem can therefore be primary or secondary.

The primary CDL is one in which the calculation is formed inside the bile duct , or it there arises even in the common bile duct. In secondary choledocholithiasis, stone formation occurs inside the gallbladder and it migrates into the bile duct.

Choledocholithiasis treatments

The treatment of choledocholithiasis is adopted to remove the stones that are located in the bile ducts. This is done through the technique known as ERCP (Retrograde Endoscopic Cholangiography) performed with the aid of an endoscope.

This technique is the most performed because it is less invasive than surgical treatment. Anyway, in cases in which ERCP is not possible or it cannot eliminate the stones in the bile duct, surgery for the removal of choledocholithiasis may be adopted .

The formation of stones is rarely primary , so in most cases choledocholithiasis is classified as secondary. As the stones come from the gallbladder and end up stuck in the duct, it is not always enough to just remove the stones.

For this reason, cholecystectomy is also recommended , usually during the same hospitalization as ERCP. This technique consists in completely removing the gallbladder to prevent new stones from forming and migrating into the bile canal.

About Retrograde Endoscopic Cholangiography

As explained, ERCP is performed with the aid of an endoscope. Endoscopy, under sedation, is done to locate the place where the choledochal reaches the intestine , because there is a contrast injection that shows where the duct obstruction is.

During this procedure, the calculations that are promoting the obstruction are removed. However, if it is not possible to remove them, the specialist introduces prostheses that allow bile drainage to be carried out , at a later time, to perform another intervention and remove the calculations.

Why does choledocholithiasis need to be treated?

Some patients with choledocholithiasis may have no symptoms, however, most of them have severe and severe abdominal pain and back pain. There are also cases of jaundice (yellow in the eyes), nausea, vomiting, acholia (whitish stools), choluria (very dark urine such as cola), sweating and fever. In the presence of pain, jaundice and fever, or more severe symptoms that change the patient’s general health , you should always be aware of the possibility of the occurrence of an infection of the bile ducts, known as cholangitis.

Check the pre and postoperative gall bladder stone surgery by clicking here!

Therefore, a diagnosis of gall bladder and choledocholithiasis needs to receive medical attention . Surgery and ERCP are very important for the elimination of stones, and for that, the patient will have quality of life again.


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