Gallstone Disease Specialist

ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates

Board Certified Gastroenterologists & Hepatology located in Long Beach, CA, Lakewood, CA

Gallstone disease is common and may cause colicky abdominal pain and intolerance to foods high in fat. Mehrdad Saliminejad, MD, at ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates in Lakewood and Long Beach, California, specializes in diagnosing and treating gallstone disease. Dr. Saliminejad performs advanced endoscopy procedures to diagnose gallstone disease so you get the right treatment. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.

Gallstone Disease Q & A

What is gallstone disease?

Gallstone disease is a condition that affects your biliary system. Your biliary system includes your gallbladder and the bile ducts that transport bile from your liver into your gallbladder for storage. Bile is a substance that helps you digest fat.

With gallstone disease, you have solid, pebble-like stones in your gallbladder or bile duct. Gallstones form when your bile contains an excess amount of cholesterol, bile salts, or bilirubin. 

What are the symptoms of gallstone disease?

You can have gallstones and not have any symptoms. However, if your gallbladder fills up with gallstones or they get stuck in the bile duct, you may experience:

  • Constant abdominal pain on the right side of your body that worsens after you eat
  • Pain in your right shoulder
  • Vomiting
  • Flatulence
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Yellowing of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Sweating

Your gallstone disease symptoms may occur suddenly and worsen over time. They may last a few minutes or several hours.

How is gallstone disease diagnosed?

When you come in with concerns about gallstone disease, Dr. Saliminejad conducts a comprehensive exam to find the root cause of your symptoms. He asks detailed questions about your pain, reviews your medical history, and performs a physical exam.

Dr. Saliminejad may also run lab work and perform image testing. He may recommend an endoscopic ultrasound as well. However, an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is the best tool for diagnosing gallstone disease.

During the procedure, Dr. Saliminejad uses a special endoscope he advances through your upper digestive system to the first section of your small intestine and to the opening of the bile ducts. He injects a contrast dye and takes an X-ray. ERCP is a highly advanced endoscopic procedure.

How is gallstone disease treated?

Treatment for gallstone disease depends on your symptoms. If you have gallstones and no symptoms, Dr. Saliminejad recommends no treatment, only monitoring.

If you have gallstone disease symptoms, the primary treatment is the removal of your gallbladder, a procedure known as a cholecystectomy. When your gallbladder is removed, your liver takes over the function of the gallbladder, so you can continue eating your regular diet.

ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates is a state-of-the-art practice offering advanced endoscopic testing to diagnose gallstone disease. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.