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Do I need to undergo surgery for gallstones?

Q: I am a 36-year-old male. I get stomach cramps and an uncomfortable feeling usually after my dinner in the upper middle abdomen, where the oesophagus connects to the stomach. But it is only a mild discomfort and lasts for more than 3-4 hours. Though the pain is not consistent, i.e. occurs once a week or twice a month, it is always at night-time. The doctors here did an endoscopy and found nothing wrong. They asked me to take over-the-counter anti-acid tablets. But I did not take them, as I did not have constant discomfort. When I went for a second visit, the doctor asked me to get an ultrasound done. The ultrasound report showed that I had numerous mid-sized gallstones. The bile ducts were clear and there was no sign of jaundice. The doctor advised me to get the gallbladder removed at the earliest. But I have heard that many people have silent gallstones and live their entire life without having to remove their gallbladder. So, I want to ask if I need the surgery now. Is there any non-surgical treatment for gallstones? Can Udilv 300 help me? Should I undergo a CT scan to find out more details. I read somewhere that gallstones can be removed telescopically. Is it true? Please advise as I do not want to go for a surgery unless it is a must.

A:Your upper abdominal pain has been investigated, and I note that your endoscopy was normal and the ultrasound scan has shown numerous gallstones, with a clear stone-free duct. The only curative treatment is surgery for gallstones and drugs will not help. Drugs used to dissolve the gallstones are useful only in solitary small cholesterol stones, and even then there may not be full solution. I suggest that you take your surgeon's advice and have the surgery. Further, CT scan is unlikely to improve on the ultrasound diagnosis of multiple gallstones.

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