Gallbladder disease is an umbrella term for diseases affecting the gallbladder, which is a pear shaped organ located beneath the liver. Inflammation that causes irritation to the wall of the gallbladder causes its disease to set in.
In many instances, individuals with gallbladder diseases often experience no signs and symptoms. In case they do, the following symptoms are experienced :
In order to diagnose gallbladder disease, a preliminary examination through abdominal examination should be conducted. This would give information about the exact location of pain in the abdomen along with presence of tenderness if any. Following this, various other diagnostic procedures would also be required, which would include :
In gallbladder diseases, wherein there is no presence of stones, but signs of inflammation are evident, antibiotics form the basis of treatment regime. However, when there are recurrent bouts and no signs of improvement are present then surgery is recommended .
In many instances it has been seen, that surgical removal of the gallbladder is the best option. Surgical procedures are carried out using 2 methods: either opening up the abdomen or laprocospically. Method involving the latter procedures enables faster recovery and leaves minimal scars as only 3 holes are made to conduct the method. This is the preferred method, when there are no urgent complications that need immediate attention .
Development of gallstones is one of the major types of gallbladder disease, having a high incidence rate. Gallstones form when substances in the bile form hard particles which can be the size of a grain up to that of a golf ball. Women after pregnancy are at an increased risk of developing gallstones. Women who have undergone hormone replacement therapy are also in the risk category. In addition to these, other risk factors that significantly contribute towards gallbladder disease include faulty dietary habits, heredity, obesity and slow intestinal transit .
Gallbladder disease has become a relatively common phenomenon, affecting about 20 million Americans. The incidence of cholelithiasis is estimated to be about 0.15% to 0.22% amongst the pediatric population .
Gallbladder cancer is a rare occurrence in the developed countries. In US, an estimated 5000 cases occur each year. Amongst the developing countries, the incidence of gallbladder cancer is higher in South American Indian and North Indian population.
Anatomically, the gallbladder is a pear shaped organ located beneath the liver. Its major function is to store bile juice, which is essential for digestion of fats in the small intestine. The gallbladder releases the bile through the bile duct. This is a tube like structure that connects the gallbladder and liver to the small intestine.
Gallbladder disease may set in, when there is some kind of physical obstruction that takes place preventing the flow of bile through the duct. As a result of this phenomenon, there is inflammation accompanied by irritation in the wall of the gallbladder. Problems related to the gallbladder get corrected once the organ is removed .
Diet plays a major role in prevention of gallbladder disease. Individuals who adhere to a balanced diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables and nuts are at a lowered risk of developing gallbladder disease. Foods rich in fat and simple sugars significantly increase the risk of the disease.
Diseases of the gallbladder are common worldwide. A type of condition, wherein the gallbladder undergoes inflammation is termed as cholecystitis. It occurs when there is development of gallstones that significantly obstruct the bile ducts. This can eventually lead to occurrence of gangrene or necrosis. In addition to cholecystitis, other gallbladder diseases include primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), cancer of the gallbladder, biliary enteric fistulas and gallbladder polyps .