Diagnosing gallbladder disease can be confusing at times. Many of the symptoms of the disease such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are also clinical manifestations of other medical conditions like a, an ulcer, gastroenteritis, or even heart attack.
Understanding Gallbladder Disease
The term gallbladder disease can refer to any condition that affects the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located just below the liver. Its main function is to store the bile produced by the liver and pass it to the small intestine when it’s needed. Bile is the substance that helps digest fats in the small intestine.
Most gallbladder diseases happen as a result of irritation to the gallbladder wall. If the formation of gallbladder stones occurs this leads to inflammation. These stones can block the duct that guides to the small intestine, causing bile to build up. When left untreated, it can lead to tissue death.
Diagnosing Gallbladder Disease
Because many of the symptoms of gallbladder disease are similar to other conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, someone experiencing possible gallbladder problems will undergo several tests as well as a thorough physical examination before a diagnosis. Two tests that may be recommended to diagnose the disease include blood and imaging test.
Doctors often recommend blood tests to determine presence of infection or inflammation of the pancreas or of the bile ducts. Blood test results may also identify other complications that result from gallstone formation.
Aside from the blood tests, the doctor may also recommend image testing. This is to visualize the gallbladder and the bile ducts to determine the extent of blockage if there is gallstone formation.
Some of the most common imaging tests done to diagnose a gallbladder problem include CT scans, MRI, hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scans, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
If you’re constantly experiencing pain on the upper right quadrant of your abdominal area, unexplained fever, nausea and vomiting, chronic diarrhea, jaundice, and unusual color of your stool, then you may have a gallbladder problem. It’s best to see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
Most types of gallbladder disease can be treated using surgery. Premier Surgical of Knoxville has a team of surgeons with specialized knowledge and skills in the diagnosis, pre-operative, operative, and post-operative management of the alimentary tract. Talking to one of our surgeons is a good way to find out the best solution for your gallbladder problem. Premier Surgical has offices at the major medical centers in Knoxville. Please visit our Locations page to find an office near you.