Patient Care


What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are small, pebble-liked substances which are formations of the hardened deposits of digestive fluid in the gallbladder. There are two types of gallstones: cholesterol gallstones and pigment gallstones. Cholesterol stones are usually yellow-green and made of hardened cholesterol. Pigments stones are small dark stones made of bilirubin.

The cause of Gallstones are unclear. However, it may be due to excessive amounts of cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile and because the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough.

What are the signs & symptoms of Gallstones?
  • There may be no signs or symptoms
  • Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of abdomen
  • Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the centre of abdomen just below the breastbone
  • Back pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain in the right shoulder
  • Pain may last several minutes to a few hours
  • Clay coloured stool
How are Gallstones diagnosed?

Gallstones can be diagnosed through abdominal ultrasound or Computerised Tomography (CT) scans. Blood tests may also be performed if complications occur.

What are the treatment options for Gallstones?

A cholecystectomy will be performed to surgically remove the gallbladder.

Find A Doctor

Click here to access our Find A Doctor directory for a list of doctors treating this condition across our NUHS institutions.

You can search by -
  • Condition name 'Gallstones' AND
  • Institution
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National University Health System
  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • National University Polyclinics
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
  • National University Heart Centre, Singapore
  • National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore
  • NUHS Diagnostics
  • NUHS Pharmacy
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
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