Docs remove 8 cm-long stone from 50-yr-old's bile duct

Published: 19 December, 2013 06:57 IST | Anuradha Varanasi |

While gall bladder stones are a common ailment and are treated routinely by surgeons, the doctors at state-run JJ Hospital were shocked when they discovered an 8 cm-long gallstone growing in a patient's common bile duct

The patient, 50-year-old Jaya (name changed) who hails from Uttar Pradesh, had approached several doctors back in her hometown before she arrived in the city. A CT scan revealed that the stomach aches that had been crippling her for the last four months were caused by a large stone with a diameter of 2.8 cm and circumference of 7cm. The stone was growing in her common bile duct, which joins the liver and gall bladder to the intestines.

“Usually, gall bladder stones are not more than 1-2 cm long and are found in the common bile duct, which has a maximum width of 7 mm. In this case, it was as large as 8 cm long. In the 30 years of my practice, this is the first time I have seen such a large gallstone,” said Dr Arshad S Khan, honorary professor at the hospital. He added that after referring to international medical journals, it was found that a gall stone of around 9 cm was last recorded in the 1970s, making this the second largest such stone to be extracted from a patient’s body.

“While the gallstone had developed over the years in the common bile duct, it became slightly curved, and its curvilinear length is 8 cm, though when normally measured by a scale, it is 6.5 cm,” added Dr Khan. The stone was impacted in the common bile duct, hepatic duct and its branches due to its size, and was successfully extracted in a one-hour-long operation conducted on December 7. Jaya’s gall bladder, which also had several stones in it, was removed by the surgeons on the same day. She was discharged from the hospital a week later.

Did you know?
A gallstone is a crystalline concretion formed within the gall bladder by accretion of bile components. These calculi are formed in the gall bladder, but may distally pass into other parts of the biliary tract such as the cystic duct, common bile duct, pancreatic duct or the ampulla of Vater. Rarely, in cases of severe inflammation, gallstones may erode through the gall bladder into adherent bowel, potentially causing an obstruction termed gallstone ileus 

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