What other problems can gallstones cause?

Gallstones can travel out of the gallbladder and into the main bile duct. 90% of stones that pass into the main duct will go on to pass through the ducts into the intestines where they are digested and passed without causing any problems. When a gallstone travels down the duct system and blocks up the main duct that drains not only the gallbladder but also the liver, the bile can back up into the liver as well and cause inflammation and sometimes infection of the liver called cholangitis. Patients can experience pain, fever, chills, and jaundice. Stones can also block up the duct that drains the pancreas and create inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis. In both of these circumstances, treatment can involve an endoscopy procedure where the stone is extracted from an approach through the opening to the duct in the intestine.