Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

If you experience pain or other symptoms that you think may be gallstones, visit your doctor.

If you experience pain or other symptoms that you think may be gallstones, visit your doctor.
beginning of content

Gallstones diagnosis

If you are experiencing severe and ongoing abdominal pain, make an appointment to see your doctor. If your doctor thinks gallstones may be causing your symptoms, it’s likely you’ll be referred to a gastroenterologist or a surgeon.

Your doctor or specialist might order tests to detect any gallstones. You’ll probably have blood tests to check your liver function and various tests to check your bile ducts for gallstones.

The most common imaging test to detect gallstones is an abdominal ultrasound.

Other tests may include:

  • plain abdominal X-ray
  • a computed tomography (CT) scan
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan (this is a type of nuclear scan that assesses how well the gallbladder functions)
  • an endoscopy, which involves your doctor inserting a thin, flexible, lighted tube into your mouth and guiding it down through your oesophagus (throat), stomach and small intestine in order to see your biliary system.

You may also be asked to have an ERCP, or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. This type of endoscopy which your doctor to remove any gallstones that are detected during the procedure.

Last reviewed: November 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 92 results

Gallstones | myVMC

Gallstone disease is characterised by the formation of cholesterol or pigment stones in the gall bladder. They do not usually cause symptoms.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Gallstones: what are they? - myDr.com.au

Gallstones are stone-like deposits that form in the gallbladder. There are 2 main types of gallstones: cholesterol stones and pigment stones.

Read more on myDr website

Gallstones: complications - myDr.com.au

Complications relating to gallstones include: inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), bile duct (cholangitis), and pancreas (biliary pancreatitis); and obstruction of the intestine (gallstone ileus).

Read more on myDr website

Gallstones: diagnosis - myDr.com.au

Several tests may be used in the diagnosis of gallstones, including blood tests, ultrasound and other imaging tests.

Read more on myDr website

Gallstones - Lab Tests Online AU

Site map of article content

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Gallbladder - gallstones and surgery | Better Health Channel

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Common Bile Duct Stone (Choledocholithiasis, Cholangitis, Obstructive Jaundice) | myVMC

Choledocholithiasis or bile duct stone refers to passage of gall stones into the bile duct. The gall stones obstruct the bile duct causing jaundice.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Cholecystitis | myVMC

Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the Gallbladder

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin) information | myVMC

Jaundice results from excesive blood bilirubin levels, and may be a symptom of liver failure or disease, or bile duct disorders such as gallstones.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) - myDr.com.au

MRCP is a technique for imaging the bile ducts and the pancreatic duct (and the gallbladder, pancreas and liver) using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). It can show gallstones, tumours, and inflammation.

Read more on myDr website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback