July 17, 2018 Posted By: Sankhya Hospitals 571 viewsRSS
When your child complains of pains and aches in and around the abdomen, you’d probably not think of the possibility of it being ‘gallstones’ because, “it happens to adults.” While you are partly right about the condition occurring mostly in adults, there are a few chances of children being affected by gallstones too. Continue reading to know everything about it.
What are gallstones, how are they formed?
The liver produces bile that helps in digestion, gallstones are hard masses made of these digestive fluids that develop in the gallbladder, they develop as a result of an imbalance in the constituency of the bile pigments in the body. Gallstones are also called cholelithiasis.
Children who are likely to suffer from gallstones are typically obese and lead unhealthy lifestyles. Also children with conditions like diabetes and hemolytic anemia are at a risk of developing gallstones, at their early age.
What are the symptoms of gallstones in children?
Your child might exhibit some characteristic gallstone symptoms which may include:
Pain in the right shoulder
Sudden pain in the upper abdomen
Back pain between the shoulder blades
Longer lasting pain
Inflammation of the pancreas that could be tested medically.
What are the causes of gallstones in children?
Some of the main causes include,
1. Obesity: Obesity raises the cholesterol levels, which initiate the formation of solid stones in the gallbladder.
2. Genetics: Gallstones can be caused due to heredity and often passes through generations. If someone in the family suffers from gallstones, the risk of your child suffering from it is higher.
3. Cholesterol Drugs: Consumption of drugs that keep cholesterol in check can lead to the formation of gallstones.
4. Diabetes: Children who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes are more likely to suffer from gallstones.
How are gallstones diagnosed in children?
There are medical tests that diagnose gallstones in children,
Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
What are the treatments for gallstone in children?
If the gallstones don’t cause symptoms, treatment may not be required. If they do, treatments include,
Electrohydraulic Shock Wave Lithotripsy: This procedure is a non-invasive technique for removing gallstones in which shock waves from outside the body are targeted at the gallstones causing them to fragment into tiny pieces.
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: This is a minimally invasive procedure in which the gallbladder is removed from the stomach laparoscopically, thus inhibiting the formation of gallstones.
Open Cholecystectomy: This procedure involves an incision into the abdomen for removing the gallbladder.
Now, your concern must be that how will the child survive without the gallbladder? It’s OK not to have a gallbladder, the bile will simply flow from the liver directly into the intestine. Your child will be able to eat properly and continue doing the normal activities after having the gallbladder removed.
It is important to be aware of the possible causes behind your child’s pains and aches so that you are able to comfort them till you see the doctor. We at Sankhya, extend the best services to our patients and strive to make their journey of recovery as comfortable and pain free as possible.
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