Gallstones are a very common cause of abdominal pain and the most common problem related to the gallbladder.
Gallstone pain is typically felt in the upper abdomen, right side of the abdomen or under the right rib cage. The pain may get triggered after food and especially with a heavy meal.
Gallstones can cause infection and inflammation of the gallbladder. They are a common cause of pancreatitis. If they slip out and get stuck in the piping, they can cause obstruction of flow of bile and cause jaundice.
An ultrasound scan is one of the best ways to diagnose gallstones and is the first line imaging test for suspected gallstones.
If the doctor diagnoses gallstones, they can refer you to reputable gallbladder doctors for further management if you wish.
The doctor will use the ultrasound probe with a water-based jelly over your skin to examine the liver and gallbladder. The scan will produce images of the inside of the gallbladder and liver which the doctor will interpret and use to give a diagnosis. The procedure is not painful.
Due to COVID working practices, you can bring one person to accompany you in the scanning room.
There will also be a qualified chaperone present in the scan room along with the doctor.