Gallstones generally do not occur in children as frequently as they do in adults. However, some children do get gallstones. Some factors which can increase their risk of gallstones include obesity, prolonged medications, prolonged fasting, prolonged parenteral nutrition, inherited problems in blood like spherocytosis and sickle cell disease. In other cases, a family history of stones in the gallbladder may cause children to have gallstones.
Gallstones Complications in Children
- Gallbladder Inflammation
Gallstones that get stuck in the gallbladder’s neck can result in cholecystitis which may be acute or chronic. This is another name for gallbladder inflammation. It can result in fever and severe abdominal pain in children.
- Blockage of the Pancreatic Duct
The pancreatic duct refers to a tube that goes from the pancreas to the bile duct before it enters the duodenum. Pancreatic juices help in digestion and it flows through the pancreatic duct. A gallstone can migrate and block the pancreatic duct that can lead to pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. Children may experience constant and intense pain in their abdomen that may require hospitalization.
- Blockage of the Common Bile Duct
Gallstones can block the ducts or tubes from which the bile flows from the liver or gallbladder to the small intestine. This can result in infection of the bile duct, jaundice, and severe pain.
- Blockage of the Cystic Duct
Blockage can occur solely in the cystic duct. This can result in sudden irritation and swelling of the gallbladder.
- Bacterial Growth
Bacterial overgrowth due to bile stasis can result in pus accumulation in the gallbladder which may get necrotic and may lead to abscess formation and perforation.
- Cancer of the Gallbladder
Gallbladder cancer is extremely rare. However, families with a history of having gallstones can increase the risk of having gallbladder cancer.
Symptoms in children with gallstones
A blocked duct can result in the following symptoms:
Other symptoms may include:
- Feeling dull and experiencing cramps.
- Greasy foods can cause more pain.
- Pain in the upper-middle or upper right side of the belly.
Dr. Vishesh Dikshit is the Best Pediatric Surgeon in Pune. If you have any problem related to your stomach condition Book your appointment today with Dr. Vishesh Dikshit at Umarji Mother and Child Care Hospital, Pune.