Digestive System Disorders

Expert reports about Digestive System Disorders


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE CHOLELITHIASIS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

                                                                                                                                                

What is cholelithiasis during pregnancy?

Cholelithiasis is the presence of gallstones, which usually are made of cholesterol or bilirubin. Gallstones grow and accumulate because of hormonal changes and because the movement of bile is slowed in the system of ducts that connects the liver, gallbladder, and small intestine (biliary sludge). Although many people have some amount of cholelithiasis, the stones are not always big enough to cause problems, or in a location to cause problems even if they are big. However, since pregnancy stimulates gallstone buildup, repeated pregnancies increase your chances that obstruction will occur in the cystic duct (the duct that joins with the hepatic duct that leads out of the liver), leading to cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) and/or inflammation of the duct (cholangitis). It also can cause other problems, including obstruction of the pancreatic duct, leading to pancreatitis. 


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