The gallbladder is the name given to the small vesicles located in the lower part of the liver. The task of these vesicles is to collect the bile produced in the liver and direct the bile to the small intestine after the meal. A number of diseases can occur in the gallbladder, which is an extremely sensitive organ, due to various reasons. These diseases are conditions that negatively affect a person's quality of life and can have life-threatening consequences if left untreated. Although the gallbladder is an important organ of the body, it is possible for the patient to lead a normal life in cases where surgical removal is deemed necessary.
One of the most common diseases in the gallbladder is stone formation. Gallstones are a disease that does not show symptoms or shows late symptoms. Today, it can be said that at least one out of 5 people can see stones or mud. However, most of these patients are unaware of this. Symptoms of gallstones include indigestion, bloating or pain. These pains, which occur mostly in the upper right side of the abdomen or just above it, can become very severe after a while.
Who Gets Gallbladder Diseases?
In cases where the treatment process is not started, the pain may spread to various parts of the back and abdomen. Also, if these pains last longer than four or five hours, this may be an indication of a deformation of the gallbladder. When patients consume excessive amounts of fatty foods, bloating appears and fat becomes difficult to digest. Ultrasonography is used for the diagnosis of gallstones. The formation of gallstones, which can be seen when the gallbladders cannot excrete the substances they have accumulated in them, is more common in the following groups:
in diabetes patients
in people over 60 years old
Those who use drugs containing estrogen
Those who have this or a similar problem in their family history
In those with liver disease
People who are obese or overweight
It should not be forgotten that if the disease is not treated, there is a risk of it turning into gallbladder cancer. Gallbladder stone treatment can be completed in a very short time with the developing medicine. It is seen that robotic methods are generally preferred during treatment. The success rate of the surgery is very high.
Gallbladder cancer, like many other types of cancer, is among the diseases that can pose a life-threatening risk if left untreated. Lack of symptoms for a long time may cause this disease to be diagnosed late and therefore to reach serious dimensions. The most common symptoms of the disease include jaundice, abdominal pain, digestive problems, nausea and vomiting, aversion to food, weakness, and dark urine and white stools. Early diagnosis of gallbladder cancer is critical for its treatment. Various methods such as tomography, ultrasonography and MRI are used in the diagnosis of the disease. However, the definitive diagnosis is made by biopsy method. In the treatment of gallbladder, it is seen that the cancerous parts are removed by surgery. It should not be forgotten that the chance of success in the surgery will be greatly reduced if the treatment is delayed. Various endoscopic procedures can be applied to relieve pain in patients with very advanced cancer. Hot chemotherapy and various smart drug treatments are among the treatment methods that can prevent the growth of tumors.
Choledocholithiasis (Bile Duct Stones)
Another disease seen in the gallbladder is the disease called bile duct stones. The risk of this disease is higher in individuals over 60 years of age. This disease, which often does not show any symptoms, can manifest itself with abdominal pain and nausea, obstructive jaundice, inflammation in the biliary tract when it progresses. These stones, which cause obstruction in the common bile duct, can turn into liver cirrhosis if not treated. A physical examination is required to diagnose the disease. At the same time, various methods such as laboratory and ultrasonography are also used. In some cases, Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging may also be used. In some cases, it is seen that the endoscopic ultrasonography method is also used for the diagnosis of the disease. During the physical examination, the disease may not show itself, and it may also manifest itself in the form of tenderness around the abdomen. Mild jaundice or whiteness in the eyes are also important considerations when diagnosing the disease. The treatment of bile duct stones is done by a method called ERCP. This oral treatment takes 10-15 minutes and has almost a hundred percent success rate. Most of the patients can be discharged on the same day after this treatment. Although rare, PTK or other surgical methods can be used for treatment.
Biliary Tract Injuries and Strictures
One of the problems that can be encountered in the gallbladder is bile duct injuries and stenosis that occurs in these sacs. These injuries are mostly seen as a result of interventions made during the cholecystectomy procedure. During injury, bile may flow to the abdomen, causing severe pain in the patient. In such situations, emergency response is critical. However, narrowing of the biliary tract may also occur. Constriction is a condition that prevents the bile from flowing into the intestine easily. This causes itching and recurrent attacks of biliary tract inflammation. Different methods are also used in the diagnosis of injury and stenosis problems. Ultrasonography and Computed Tomography (CT) are the most preferred methods. In addition, ERCP, Percutaneous Cholangiography and MRCP methods can be applied. In cases where the necessary treatment cannot be applied, complications such as new biliary strictures, jaundice, inflammation of the biliary tract, liver failure and cirrhosis may develop in the patient. The narrowing of the bile duct is a condition that can be treated with surgery. However, the first operation to be performed here is of great importance. In case of recurrence of the disease, the success rate of the surgery to be performed is lower than the first surgery.
Acute Cholecystitis (Inflammation of the Gallbladder)
Inflammation of the gallbladder is called “acute cholecystitis”. Stones formed in the gallbladder can be shown as the main cause of this ailment. However, it should not be forgotten that even if the patient does not have gallstones, this disease may occur. The disease manifests itself with abdominal pains that begin more suddenly. In addition, chills and chills, swelling in the abdomen, high fever, light-colored stools, nausea, yellowing of the skin are among the most important symptoms of gallbladder inflammation. Symptoms may vary from patient to patient.
What Causes Acute Cholecystitis?
Unbalanced and malnutrition is the leading cause of acute cholecystitis. Tumors in the gallbladder can also cause this disease. It can be said that the risk of developing this disease increases with age. Genetic and environmental factors are also among the important causes. When the disease begins to manifest itself, the vast majority of patients first apply to the emergency room. Because in the first place, it can be said that a very severe abdominal pain is seen. However, it is very difficult to diagnose the disease by physical examination. The reason for this is that many of the symptoms are similar to other diseases. Thanks to the tests applied to the patient, a definitive diagnosis can be made and the appropriate treatment method can be decided. First of all, information about the patient's disease history and family history is obtained. Then, questions are asked about the history of the pain and how often the pain comes. After the physical examination, the abdominal region is visualized by the ultrasonography method. One of the important diagnostic methods is the method called "Hepatobiliary Scintigraphy". After the treatment, the patient should be hospitalized and kept under observation for a while. During the treatment, the patient is fed intravenously. This allows the gallbladder to relax a little. Painkillers and antibiotic treatments can be applied. Since there is a risk of recurrence of gallbladder inflammation in the future, it is generally recommended to remove the gallbladder surgically. The gallbladder of the patient can be removed by open or closed surgical methods.
One of the disorders triggered when the functions of the gallbladder are impaired is the disease called “Biliary Dyskinesia”. The word "dyskinesia", which means abnormal movement, is used for situations where the gallbladder cannot perform its normal functions. It is also seen in this condition that the gallbladder is not able to empty bile properly. It is a disease that can also be explained as the inability of the gallbladder to empty bile. Inflammations of the gallbladder can trigger this disease. Among the most striking symptoms are the feeling of pain in the upper part of the abdomen after a meal, nausea and indigestion. In addition, in cases where very fatty meals are consumed, an increase in the pain of the patients can be observed. The disease can be detected by performing HIDA screening or by using the Hepatobiliary Screening method. These scans are mostly methods that examine the bile ducts and the functions of the gallbladder. Biliary dyskinesia can be diagnosed if, as a result of the scans, it is determined that the gallbladder empties 35% or less of the bile.
Primary Sclerosing Colagitis
Some hardening may occur due to injuries in the bile duct system. This condition is called “Sclerosing Cholangitis”. The cause of this disease, whose origin is not known exactly, does not show any symptoms in the majority of patients. However, in some cases, the disease may manifest as high fever, jaundice, itching and pain in the upper abdomen. Since it is a disease that increases the risk of liver cancer, it is one of the diseases that should be treated and should not be neglected. In cases where it does not reach advanced stages, bile thinning drugs can be applied.
Precautions to be Taken for Gallbladder Diseases
There are a number of factors that should be considered in order to prevent gallbladder diseases and to lead a healthier life. These factors can be listed as follows:
Early detection of stone formation in the gallbladder and not neglecting this situation is very important.
Excessive oily meals should be avoided.
It is recommended to avoid pastries or to consume very little.
Care should be taken to use unrefined oils in meals.
Fruit and vegetable consumption should be emphasized.
Organic nutrition should be paid attention to.
Fried foods should not be consumed.
Sugar and carbohydrate consumption should be reduced.