The Tale of Saint Nicholas and the gallbladder

When it comes to people, medics have superpowers. They can scan the eyes of passers-by like x-rays, and sometimes all it takes is a single glance to find what is troubling that individual.

What if we took a closer look — literally and figuratively — at Santa’s figure?

Santa, or Mister Mikołaj to his friends, is an older, graying gentleman in good health. He has carried a few excess kilograms for a couple of years now, and from a medical point of view, abdominal obesity is one of the main factors leading to the development of the metabolic syndrome.

Over the last few nights, after a hearty dinner, Mr. M has felt severe pain in his right hypochondrium. This calls for a routine examination: ultrasound of the abdomen, which soon reveals that gallstones have disrupted mr. M’s pre-Christmas duties. These are very characteristic in abdominal USG because they give an acoustic shadow.

Laboratory tests show significant hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia which, in combination with being older and overweight, significantly increases Santa’s chances of developing cholecystolithiasis. Fortunately, doctors acted quickly to help Santa Claus and by their help you could receive your Christmas gifts on time!

Symptoms in the course of urolithiasis are not always as typical as they were in Mr. M’s case. Sudden sharp epigastric pain is the most common, but sometimes diarrhea or vomiting are the only symptoms. Keep your eyes open at the holiday table!

During the Summer International Radiology Course you will be able to learn and practice how to perform the abdomen ultrasound including the gall bladder 🙂

The registration is now open: