Gallstones located solely within the gallbladder can be asymptomatic for years, which is why they are often called “silent stones”. Such stones do not require treatment. Symptoms of gallstone disease usually start to appear after these stones reach the diameter of 8mm and above.
The most common symptom of this condition is “gallstone attack”, during which the person is experiencing intense pain located in the right hypochondrium. This pain is often accompanied by the feeling of nausea and vomiting which steadily increase for half an hour or more. The pain can also irradiate into the place below the right shoulder or between the shoulder blades. All these symptoms are very similar to “kidney stone attack” and have to be differentiated from it using various diagnostic tools. Such an attack usually occurs at night after the person eats a particularly fatty meal. The pain is caused by the temporary obstruction of the cystic duct by the gallstone, preventing the bile from leaving the gallbladder.