What are symptoms of cholelithiasis?

Updated: Jan 18, 2017
  • Author: Peter A D Steel, MBBS, MA; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Most gallstones (60-80%) are asymptomatic at a given time. Smaller stones are more likely to be symptomatic than larger ones. However, almost all patients develop symptoms before complications, such as steady pain in the right hypochondrium or epigastrium, nausea, vomiting, and fever. An acute attack often is precipitated by a large or fatty meal.

Indigestion, belching, bloating, and fatty food intolerance are thought to be typical symptoms of gallstones; however, these symptoms are just as common in people without gallstones and frequently are not cured by cholecystectomy.


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