The term gallbladder disease is used for several types of diseases and conditions that can affect the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ on the right side of the abdomen.
The main function of this organ is to store the bile produced by the liver and pass it along through a duct that empties into the small intestine. Bile helps in digesting the fats in the small intestine.
Due to irritation of the gallbladder walls (also known as cholecystitis), inflammation causes the majority of gallbladder diseases. The inflammation mostly occurs when gallstones blocking the ducts leads to the small intestine and causes bile to build up.
The different types of gallbladder diseases include:
- A calculous gallbladder disease
- Biliary dyskinesia
- Sclerosing cholangitis
- Gallbladder cancer
- Gallbladder polyps
- Gangrene of the gallbladder
- Abscess of the gallbladder
To diagnose gallbladder disease, the doctor asks you about your medical history and performs an abdominal exam. This includes checking for pain in the abdomen. Apart from this, the doctor may also recommend the following:
- Physical exam
- Chest and abdominal X-ray
- HIDA scan
- CT scan
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
The treatment of gallbladder disease is determined by the type of the disease, its causes and severity and the overall health and age of the patient. The treatment mainly includes:
- Lifestyle changes
- Medical treatment