Health Condition


About This Condition

Gallstones are hardened formations, composed primarily of cholesterol, that develop in the gallbladder.

Gallstones are commonly associated with bile that contains excessive cholesterol, a deficiency of other substances in bile (bile acids and lecithin), or a combination of these factors.


Gallstone attacks cause extreme pain in the upper-right quarter of the abdomen, often extending to the back. This pain can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Other Therapies

The most common medical treatment for gallstones is surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). Mechanical shock waves (lithotripsy) may also be applied to break up the stones. Unfortunately, gallstones commonly recur following non-surgical forms of treatment.


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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.

Drugs used to treat GALLSTONES. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing