Gallbladder Disorders Surgery Specialist in Elgin IL

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that sits below the liver. It stores bile, a fluid that helps the body digest fats. Gallbladder disorders are a group of conditions that affect the gallbladder. The most common gallbladder disorder is gallstones which are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. They can be made of cholesterol, bilirubin, or a combination of both. Other gallbladder disorders include cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), cholangitis (inflammation of the bile ducts), and gallbladder cancer.

Common Gallbladder Disorders in Elgin

Gallstones are the most common gallbladder disorder, affecting 10-15% of adults in the United States. Gallstones are more common in women than men. They are also more common in people who are overweight or obese, have diabetes, or have a family history of gallstones. Most people with gallstones have no symptoms. However, some people may experience pain in the upper right abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and bloating. The pain may be severe and can last for several hours. It is often worse after eating a fatty meal.

  • Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder. It is most often caused by gallstones blocking the bile duct. The blockage prevents bile from flowing out of the gallbladder, which can cause inflammation and pain. Cholecystitis can be acute (sudden) or chronic (long-lasting). Acute cholecystitis is more common and is usually more severe. Chronic cholecystitis can cause scarring of the gallbladder and can lead to gallbladder cancer.
  • Cholangitis is inflammation of the bile ducts. It is most often caused by a gallstone blocking the bile duct. The blockage prevents bile from flowing out of the liver, which can cause inflammation and infection. Cholangitis can be acute (sudden) or chronic (long-lasting). Acute cholangitis is more common and is usually more severe. Chronic cholangitis can cause scarring of the bile ducts and can lead to liver failure.
  • Gallbladder cancer is a rare cancer that starts in the gallbladder. It is most common in people over the age of 60. Gallbladder cancer is often fatal. The symptoms of gallbladder cancer are often vague and can be mistaken for other conditions. If you have any of these symptoms, please see your doctor right away:
    • Pain in the upper right abdomen
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Weight loss
    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

Do you suspect a gallbladder disorder? Contact the team at Advanced Surgery Wellness.

Treatment for Gallbladder Disorders in Elgin IL

The treatment for gallbladder disorders depends on the type of disorder and the severity of the symptoms. Typical gallbladder diseases are treated with pain medication, antibiotics, endoscopic intervention, and surgery.

  • Gallstone treatment. If you have gallstones and no symptoms, you may not need treatment. However, your doctor may recommend treatment if you have frequent pain or other symptoms. Treatment for gallstones may include:
    • Eating a low-fat diet can help to prevent gallstones from forming
    • Medications can dissolve some gallstones
    • Surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) may be recommended in some cases
  • Cholecystitis treatment. If you have acute cholecystitis, you will need to be hospitalized. Treatment for acute cholecystitis may include:
    • IV fluids to rehydrate the patient
    • Pain medication to relieve the pain
    • Antibiotics to treat the infection
    • Surgery to remove the gallbladder is usually performed within 24 hours of diagnosis
  • Cholangitis treatment. If you have acute cholangitis, you will need to be hospitalized. Treatment for acute cholangitis may include:
    • IV fluids to rehydrate the patient
    • Pain medication to relieve the pain
    • Antibiotics to treat the infection
    • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure that is used to open the bile duct and drain any fluid or stones that are blocking it.
    • Surgery to remove the gallbladder may be necessary if the ERCP is not successful.
  • Gallbladder cancer. Treatment for gallbladder cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. Like most cancer care, doctors will work together to create the patient’s treatment plan that typically includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

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