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I am a 47 years old male. One week ago I was diagnosed with cholelithiasis. Ever since then I am worried about it. The worst thing is that I don't know anything about my condition. Can someone explain this disease to me, what is it all about?

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Cholelithiasis is a gallstone disease and it is affecting people worldwide. Gallstones are abnormal, inorganic masses formed in the gallbladder and they are a frequent cause of abdominal pain and dyspepsia. They can also form in the common bile or hepatic duct. Cholelithiasis is usually discovered by a routine X-ray study or surgery. Symptoms usually occur after a stone of sufficient size blocks the cystic duct, which drains the gallbladder, or the common bile duct (the main duct draining into the duodenum). The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, jaundice and fever. There are cases where there are no symptoms. Also, there are some additional symptoms that are associated with cholelithiasis, like clay colored stool, nausea and vomiting, heartburn etc. Treatments are primarily medical and surgical. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is one of the most common operations performed for symptomatic cholelithiasis. Gallstones can be dissolved by taking bile salts orally in patients with a functioning gallbladder. The process can last 2 years or even longer, and stones may recur after the therapy is discontinued.
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