New Delhi

Doctors have removed a staggering 360 gallstones from a woman in India. Mousumi Dam, 49, from Kolkata, West Bengal, had been suffering from chronic abdominal pain and acid reflux for months. But last month she got jaundice and finally consulted a doctor.

Tests and an ultrasound found she was suffering from a severe case of gallstones. Doctors were amazed to see such a huge cluster of tiny marble-sized stones in her gallbladder.  She was immediately referred to the Institute of Post Graduation Medical Education and Research Institute, in Kolkata, where doctors removed 360 stones during an hour-long operation. Dr Makhan Lal Saha, 59, professor of surgery at the hospital, said he’d never seen so many stones in a patient before. ‘I’ve worked as a doctor for nearly 37 years but I’ve never seen so many stones packed in a gallbladder. 

‘This is the first time in the medical history of West Bengal that anyone has had a surgery to remove 360 stones,’ said Dr Saha. He added: ‘The stones were 5mm in size and it took me 50 minutes to take out every stone. ‘In fact, my hands were numb by the time I removed the last stone. Surprisingly all the stones had same size and shape.’ Dr Saha also had to remove the galbladder.

Dr Saha added: ‘It’s difficult to determine the main cause of such a huge amount of gallstones but it could be due to a very high amount of cholesterol in her bile. Also if the patient doesn’t drink enough water that can cause the formation of stones.’ Mrs Dam was discharged from hospital after three days and is now at home recovering. She was offered the chance to keep her stones in a glass jar but she refused.