There are many different types of gallbladder disease, some of which can cause extreme pain during an attack. Jaime L. Roman-Pavajeau, MD, PA, is an experienced general surgeon providing outstanding care to patients living in and around Katy, Texas. If you would like to schedule a consultation for abdominal pain, call the office, or book online today.
Gallbladder disease is an umbrella term for a number of conditions that can affect the gallbladder.
Your gallbladder is a small sac that sits underneath your liver, storing the bile that’s produced in the liver and delivering it to your small intestine. Your body uses bile to help it digest fats as they pass through your small intestine.
There are numerous types of gallbladder disease. Some of the more common gallbladder conditions include:
Gallstones form from undissolved cholesterol, bilirubin, and other substances that build up and block off the gallbladder and bile ducts. They vary in size between tiny grains and masses the size of a golf ball.
Cholecystitis can be either an acute or chronic inflammation in the gallbladder. Gallstones often lead to acute cholecystitis attacks, but the condition may occasionally have other causes, including tumors. Chronic cholecystitis develops after repeated attacks of acute cholecystitis when the gallbladder shrinks and can’t store or release its bile supply.
If you have gallstones that get stuck in the neck of your gallbladder or bile ducts, bile builds up and causes inflammation and distension of your gallbladder, a condition known as choledocholithiasis. Choledocholithiasis can cause extreme pain as well as fever, jaundice, and vomiting.
Other conditions affecting the gallbladder include:
To diagnose your gallbladder disease, Dr. Roman-Pavajeau reviews your symptoms and medical history and carries out a comprehensive physical exam. You need to have blood tests and may also need to undergo diagnostic procedures such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or other forms of diagnostic testing.
An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) may also be useful, especially if Dr. Roman-Pavajeau suspects you have a gallstone blockage, as he can clear the gallstones during the ERCP procedure.
Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight and managing underlying conditions like diabetes can make a significant difference for many forms of gallbladder disease. If you have an attack of gallbladder pain, it can be severe, so you may need prescription medication to control the pain and ease the inflammation.
The main treatment for bouts of gallbladder disease that cause multiple attacks of inflammation and pain is surgical removal. This is a safe and effective treatment, as you can live without your gallbladder. Dr. Roman-Pavajeau is an expert in performing many forms of surgery, including minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder removal.
If you’re concerned you may have gallbladder disease, call Jaime L. Roman-Pavajeau, MD, PA, today, or book an appointment online.