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Biliary Colic

About Biliary Colic

Biliary colic occurs when a stone within the gall bladder typically becomes impacted at the junction of the gallbladder with the cystic duct (ie. the outlet). Further contractions of the gallbladder result in quite intense pain typically lasting two to three hours at a time before resolving spontaneously. There is often associated nausea and vomiting. The pain is usually sufficient to require attendance at the emergency department and sometimes admission to hospital for pain relief.

The pain typically occurs in the top half of the abdomen especially on the right side and there is often radiation through to the back. It also has a tendency to recur on a fairly regular basis. The same pattern of pain can occur if a gallstone is small enough to be passed from the gall bladder, along the cystic duct and down the common bile duct where it temporarily gets held up at the lower end before being pushed through by back pressure where it is subsequently passed through the gut.

As previously mentioned symptoms tend to recur until the definitive management is carried out namely a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder using keyhole surgery).

Related Information

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