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Gallstones Santa Monica, CA

If you experience sudden pain in the upper right part of your abdomen or the center of your abdomen below your breastbone, you may have gallstones. Rapid onset and intensification of pain in these areas often indicate that a gallstone may have obstructed a duct in your gallbladder.

Other symptoms may include back pain between shoulder blades or pain in your right shoulder. These attacks are sometimes accompanied by nausea or vomiting. The pain can last anywhere from several minutes to a few hours.

Treatment for this chronic condition is needed when gallstones produce intense abdominal pain that does not go away. Another sign you need treatment is if you begin to get jaundice. This causes a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. Severe gallstone problems can also produce high fever with chills.

With serious gallstone symptoms, surgery is often needed. In these situations, the gall bladder is removed. There are cases in which a person may have gallstones, but they do not cause symptoms. Treatment is usually not needed in these instances.

How Gallstones Form

Just below your liver on the right side of your abdomen is a small pear-shaped gland. This is your gallbladder, and it contains the digestive fluid, bile. When bile is released from the gallbladder, it is used to help digest food in the small intestine.

Doctors are not sure about the exact cause of gallstone formation, but one possibility may be due to too much cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile, resulting in the formation of crystals and eventually stones. Cholesterol gallstones may also contain other substances.

Another possible reason gallstones may form is due to bile concentration. This can happen if the gallbladder does not empty completely, or if it does not empty enough. When the bile is allowed to collect, gallstones may begin to form.

There are different types of gallstones. The most common type is yellow and contains mostly undissolved cholesterol. Dark brown or black gallstones are attributed to too much bilirubin in the bile. This chemical is produced by the breakdown of red blood cells. The liver will produce too much when it has been damaged by cirrhosis, biliary tract infections or with certain blood disorders.

When symptoms are present, gallstones can be quite painful. If you experience intense, increasing pain as mentioned above, contact Dr. Brent J. Michael and schedule an appointment.

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM