The gallbladder is responsible for storing the bile produced by the liver. It may not seem like an important job, but this bile is important for digesting fats in the small intestine. When a meal is finished, the gallbladder is flat, but before a meal, it is the size of a small pear and is filled with bile.
There are a few different conditions that can affect the gallbladder and while it does serve a purpose, typically, a healthy person will have no problems after having the gallbladder removed.
The symptoms common to gallbladder conditions include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Chronic Diarrhea
Gallstones are the most common gallbladder condition. Due to elevated or depleted levels of bile or other chemicals, crystallizations can form inside the gallbladder. In some cases, these “stones” remain in the gallbladder and do not cause any problems. In other cases, they can block ducts, which can cause a backup of bile and pain.
Usually caused by a gallstone, cholecystitis is an infection of the gallbladder. The gallbladder will become swollen or irritated and can cause severe pain and fever. Cholecystitis can require surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Another condition caused by gallstones, gallstone pancreatitis is a serious condition brought on by an impacted gallstone that prevents the pancreas from draining. The symptoms are similar to gallstones, including severe pain in the abdomen and fever.
If you experience any of the symptoms associated with a gallbladder condition, it is important to see a doctor to ensure you get treated. While in some mild cases, these conditions can be treated with antibiotics, in more severe cases, surgery will be required.
Contact us at Salem Surgical Center for any gallbladder conditions. Our team of professionals can determine the best options for your condition.