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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 25 reviews

Ashly Tucker

I've interacted with Dr. Michael and his staff on several occasions and they have all been nothing but pleasant! Keep up the good work guys! I'll be sending anyone I know who needs a Dr. in Santa Monica your way!

Dolores Niece

Dr. Michael is a brilliant, compassionate doctor who listens and cares for his patient. I have never experienced this quality of medical care anywhere. The staff was very accommodating and made me feel very comfortable. He is the best family physician that we have ever had.

Greg Kove

Dr. Michael is not your average doctor. I feel fortunate to have enjoyed Dr. Michael as my primary GP for over 6 years and have found him to be extremely trustworthy, personable, knowledgeable, honest, thorough, compassionate and non-judgmental. He takes the time to talk to you and to listen to all of your concerns. Dr. Michael is someone you can talk with and he really cares about each one of his patients. He listens and provides suggestions. A patient couldn't ask for a more caring physician than Dr. Michael. The entire office staff is extremely friendly, personable and accommodating. Dr. Michael is a great doctor, mentor and friend. I'm glad I have him as my primary care provider! I am forever grateful to Dr. Michael and strongly recommend him to anyone who desires personalized care.

Gini Holtzman

Dr. Michael takes time to listen, diagnose, and prescribe the best treatment possible. He made me feel comfortable talking to him about all of my health concerns and I left my appointment with answers to all of my questions. Dr Michael really understood what I was feeling both emotionally and physically and communicated that understanding to me.

Jose Hernandez

Dr. Michaels is easy to talk to, down-to-earth as well as smart and competent. It feels more like you’re getting good advice from a personal friend who is also a licensed physician. I have been recommending him to friends and family for years now and with absolutely no complaints. He is always able to fit me into his schedule and help me as promptly as possible. I haven’t had to wait more than twenty minutes after checking in to see him. He is very knowledgeable and polite and is willing to answer all of my questions without being rude or cold.

Alex D.

Dr. Michael is very friendly and easy to talk to. His staff is great and his nurse was absolutely wonderful. I didn’t catch her name but she was quick, very efficient and friendly! I will definitely be sticking around with this doc for as long as I can

logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 1260W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



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