Hernia and 
General Surgeon  
02380 178 991 

Problems caused by Gallstones

Mr Kirkby-Bott has a large experience of gallstone related problems as these frequently present to the acute surgery service at UHS. Mr Kirkby-Bott helped to set up this unit in 2013.

Gallstone surgery can be simple or complex depending upon patients individual circumstance and symptoms.

Diagram below of the Anatomy of the gallbladder and biliary tree to explain gallstone problems
Gallstones are common. The incidence increases with age. It is important to be sure that a patients symptoms fit with them being due to gallstones or treating the gallstones will not provide the symptom relief anticipated. Gallstones can cause a range of problems:
  • Episodic to regular attacks of severe acute pain called biliary colic or chronic cholecystitis
  • Infection of the gallbladder or bile duct called acute cholecystitis and cholangitis respectively
  • Inflammation of the pancreas gland called pancreatitis
  • Jaundice and pain due to stones obstructing the common bile duct - CBD stones
All of these conditions can be treated by removal of the gallbladder or cholecystectomy. For more information please see the fact files below.

Biliary Colic

Severe cramping upper abdominal pains with associated nausea and vomiting. Often after heavy or fatty meals lasting for 10 mins to more than an hour. Can be episodic and unpredictable, but severe pain. Caused by the gallbladder contracting and a stone blocking the outflow of bile into the cystic duct.

    Needs: Blood tests & ultrasound to confirm diagnosis. Treatment is surgery  

Acute cholecystitis

On going upper abdominal pain with associated nausea and vomiting. Exacerbated by eating but usually the patient has no appetite. Associated feeling of fever, being unwell and tired. Tender painful abdomen under ribs on right side. Caused by the gallbladder getting infected.

Needs urgent review to diagnose. Treatment is with antibiotics & surgery. Timing is crucial.
Anatomy of the gallbladder and biliary tree

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02380 178 991

CBD stones

Cause pain & symptoms like a more severe & longer lasting form of biliary colic that keeps recurring. Pain often passes through to the back. Associated yellowing of skin and eyes can occur. This can also cause pancreatitis. The stone in the CBD frequently passes causing resolution of jaundice and symptoms, but sometimes needs a camera test or surgery to remove it from the bile duct.

Treatment is diagnostic investigation as per biliary colic plus imaging with an MRCP. Then gallbladder surgery and or a camera test to remove the CBD stone.

Acute pancreatitis

This condition can be mild and self limiting lasting a few days or severe and life threatening. Untreated you can have recurrent attacks. It is due to a gallstone irritating the pancreas as it passes through the hepatopancreatic duct into the gut. Presents like acute cholecystitis with pain going through to the back. It is diagnosed with a specific blood test.

Needs urgent care in hospital initially. Then surgery within a few weeks to prevent recurrent attacks.

Patient Testimonal

Please could you describe the experience of your surgery with Mr James Kirkby-Bott:

"Mr James Bott knows his subject very well, he is humble and very caring."

Any other comments or suggestions

"The after care was amazing as my mother was very inflamed with gallbladder , he took extra time and checked up on her until he knew she was safe.

The staff at Nuffield were amazing- better than any private hospital in London."

Patient Testimonal

Feedback from one of our female patient 60 years old
"At the first consultation, Mr Kirkby-Bott cleared up the misinformation I’d been given about gallbladder surgery and pre op and post op eating. If you follow the instructions on his website regarding the Gallbladder pre op and post op, you’ll enjoy the excellent experience that I did."
"Originally, I was sick and weak from the gallbladder infections, but just 2 days after my surgery I felt the best I had been in just over 2 years. After surgery I had no pain, just a little discomfort and now 2 months later, I have 4 thin scratch lines on my torso as reminders. In time, I can see, they will heal to be virtually invisible."