Is it true that ONLY calcified stones can be seen on ultrasound?
NO. HUGE NO.
Calcified stones may be the easiest to detect, but Calcified stones ARE NOT the only one. There are different kind of stones that can be detected with ultrasound, depending on what is around the stone:
1. predominantly cholesterol stones, if they are surrounded by liquid bile.
2. predominantly protein stones, even if they are not surrounded by liquid bile.
3. predominantly calcium stones, even if they are not surrounded by liquid bile.
Could doctor operating ultrasound be 100% sure that stones he is detecting are calcified?
No. Very few people have calcified stones. There is no way for a doctor to be 100% sure that stone detected is calcified. There is no way for a doctor to be 85% sure that stone detected is calcified. Errors in ultrasound diagnosis are VERY common.
Computed Tomography (CT) provides exact discrimination between cholesterol and non-cholesterol stones in vivo.
Radiographic examination can detect radiopaque Gallstones (calcified!).
Could doctor operating ultrasound be 100% sure about the stone size?
No. Measuring shadows on US is not an exact science.
Can I throw (is it safe?) 23mm calcified stone out from my gallbladder?
Depends on very many factors. What if the stone is not round? What if it's surface is not perfectly smooth? What if it is very irregular? What if your gallbladder is weak, and can not push the stone out? What is the size of your bile ducts? How flexible are your bile ducts?
Nobody can answer those question but you. If you try, you will know the answer.
I would assume that if it is true that stone is 23mm, calcified, round, then it may not exit gallbladder. But, chances that it is round are small. Round stones don't cause troubles or symptoms. Do you have symptoms? Attacks?
Is there a specific procedure for calcified stones flush?
Some people try to use different methods for "melting" or "breaking" or "dissolving" or "softening" stones.
There is no hard scientific evidence that any method can "soften", "break", "melt" or "dissolve" a real calcified stone!
What if it really works? What if the therapy really starts melting a calcified stone? What if the stone is not melting equally on all sides, creating some irregular shape, that would be impossible to push out from gallbladder?
What if melting produces sharp edges that will cause injuries to tissues (bile ducts)?
I am personally very skeptical that any natural treatment could melt a real calcified stone. Just my opinion. Even if "it works", it may work only on 2 - 10 % of people who try it. May.
BUT, as the diagnosis of "calcified stone" is not 100% reliable, everything is possible.
Computed tomography (CT) provides highly sensitive measurement of density of gallstones!
Analysis of radiolucent Gallstones by computed tomography for in vivo estimation of stone components. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMe...
"We conclude that computed tomography provides exact discrimination between cholesterol and non-cholesterol stones in vivo. Since only cholesterol stones can be dissolved by cheno- and ursodeoxycholic acid we recommend measurement of the radiodensity of Gallstones by CT prior to any litholytic therapy."
Efficacy and indications of ursodeoxycholic acid treatment for dissolving gallstones. A multicenter double-blind trial. Tokyo Cooperative Gallstone Study Group. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMe...
" For those cases with non-calcified, less than 15 mm in diameter, and floating stones, efficacy increased to 83.3% in the 600 mg/day group. Lithogenic index of bile defined by Thomas and Hofmann became unsaturated after treatment in the 600 mg/day group. Neither diarrhea nor hepatic toxicity was noted. The results indicate that UDCA is a safe and effective litholytic agent."
Ursodeoxycholic acid is a major component of bear bile, traditional Russian and Chinese remedy for gallstones dissolution. Trade with natural Ursodeoxycholic acid is forbidden in 99% of the world. Synthetic Ursodeoxycholic acid is used for treatment.
Not even bear bile works for calcified stones.
Physician Develops Non-Surgical Procedure For Gallstones http://www.advance.uconn.edu/2002/021112/02111208.htm
"Instead of surgically removing the gallbladder with its gallstones, Dr. Salam Zakko, professor of medicine, treats the gallstones with a solvent that breaks them up so they can be removed."
"I believe we have enough data, so I am no longer actively looking for patients for the clinical trial," says Zakko. "The trial is, however, still active and available for those high-risk patients who cannot have surgery. I believe this procedure for dissolving gallstones without invasive surgery may be the new standard for treatment of symptomatic gallbladder stones within just a few years."