Patient: 57-year-old male

Final diagnosis: GallStones Leading to Acute Pancreatitis

GallStones Leading to Acute Pancreatitis signs and Symptoms:

Speciality: Gastroenterology and hepatology


Causes, symptoms and treatment of gallstones causing acute pancreatitis


The pancreas is an organ that releases enzymes and fluid to break down and digest the food eaten. It is a part of the digestion process. Gallstones form in the bladder. However, they can travel and block the mouth of the small intestine. It leads to the deposition of fluids that can move towards both the pancreatic duct and bile duct. When a gallstone blocks the pancreas, it can cause pancreatitis. This is called gallstone pancreatitis. Gallstones cause acute pancreatitis, which is due to inflammation and pain in the pancreas. Gallstone pancreatitis can be acutely painful and life-threatening if not treated timely. The primary objective of treating gallbladder stones case is to reduce pain and remove gallstones if needed.

Case Review

The gallstone case study presents a 57-year-old man with severe abdominal pain in the upper right side. An ultrasound indicated the presence of a large gallstone. The patient had a history of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. He also had undergone a coronary artery bypass surgery two years back. When he came for consultation, he had been suffering from pain for the past two days.

The patient was overweight and smoked regularly. Along with gradually increasing right upper abdominal pain, he also reported nausea and general weakness. He was taking medications at the time of consultation.

On physical examination, the abdomen was found to be tender, especially on the upper right side. Laboratory tests were advised, including a blood test, abdominal ultrasound. Blood tests reports were found to be normal within the range. However, an ultrasound revealed a thicker than normal gallbladder wall and a single gallstone. No other abnormality was found. Removing the gallstone through surgery was advised.

Case Discussion

Pancreatitis due to gallstones occurs when digestive enzyme accumulation irritates the lining of the pancreas and causes inflammation. When the disease does not abate, it can damage the pancreas, causing scarring and ultimately loss of functioning. However, the primary cause of pancreatic is the gallstone blocking the pancreatic opening. Other possible gallstone pancreatitis causes include alcoholism, abdominal surgery, certain medications, infection, injury to the abdomen, high calcium levels in the blood, an overactive thyroid gland and obesity.

In the gallstone case report of the patient, the gallstone detected was quite a large size for which surgical removal was the only option. The surgery had been advised a few years back, but the patient did not want to undergo surgery at that time. This was primarily because he was asymptomatic then and was also suffering from a heart ailment. Though medications to relieve pain were prescribed, they were only a temporary solution as the pain due to the gallstone was likely to recur.

The major factors that increase the risk of developing gallstones causing pancreatitis are alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, and having a family history of pancreatitis. The patient was obese, which increased the odds of developing the disease. Smokers are more likely to develop the disorder than non-smokers. The best way that helps in the treatment is to refrain from smoking as it reduces the risk by half.

Clinical Symptoms

The most common sign of gallstones with acute pancreatitis is chronic pain in the upper right corner of the abdomen—the enzymes from the pancreas help digest the food. Apart from abdominal pain, the other common symptoms include abdominal pain that worsens after eating food, abdominal pain that radiates towards the back, fever, nausea, vomiting, and tenderness on touching the abdomen. The disorder does not occur suddenly, and in this case, the patient was already suffering from gallstones for the last two years. The problem of gallstones developed into pancreatitis as it had been left untreated.

As per the gallstone case history of the patient, he is clearly symptomatic of the disorder with pain in the abdomen, abdominal tenderness, nausea, fatigue, and weight loss due to the inability to digest food.


Mild cases of abdominal pain can be relieved by medications. However, acute pancreatitis can be cured only with hospital or clinic admission. People with mild cases usually get better within a week, and the problem usually gets better after 48 hours. Most people are discharged after three to four days. People with acute cases need constant monitoring and may also need Intensive Unit Care if they develop complications. The disorder causes dehydration, so fluids are replenished through IV and oxygen levels need to be maintained. The abdominal pain is managed through medications that can make the patient drowsy and unresponsive. In a mild case, the patient is advised a regular diet, while in acute cases, the patient is advised not to have solid foods as it may put pressure on the pancreas.

In the case of the reported patient, the doctor advised the removal of the gallstone through surgery. Till the scheduled surgery, the patient is to be constantly monitored and kept on medications. After surgery, the patient is advised to make dietary and lifestyle changes. He should quit smoking as he also has a heart ailment. He needs to stay away from spicy and oil fried foods.

A proper post-operative care and treatment plan coupled with regular check-ups can help cure gallstones that lead to pancreatitis. If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult the best physician in Jammu city. You can also tele consult online gastroenterologist doctor or consult a gastroenterologist online free Seek immediate medical help for accurate diagnosis and treatment at the gastro & liver clinic Patna Bihar, gastro surgeon in Delhi, max hospital liver specialist, NCR gastro liver clinic Gurgaon, best doctor in Patna for stomach, best female gynaecologist in Jhansi, liver cirrhosis specialist doctor in India


1. Can gallstones cause acute pancreatitis?

Not all gallstones lead to pancreatitis. Only when a gallstone blocks the opening of the pancreatic duct, it leads to inflammation and pancreatitis.

2. Can acute pancreatitis be treated completely?

Mild pancreatitis can be treated with medicines. However, acute cases need comprehensive treatment, including hospitalisation.

3. How long does it take the pancreas to recover after treatment?

It takes around one to two weeks for the pancreas to heal.