michael kors outlet uk Gallbladder Problems

Gallbladder Problems

What is the Gallbladder?The gallbladder can be found on the right side of the abdomen just below the liver and is a small, pear shaped organ that stores bile.

Bile is a digestive enzyme that is excreted into the small intestines after a meal to help dissolve fats. It is made up of several components including bile salts, bile pigments like bilirubin, cholesterol, phospholipids (like lecithin) and proteins. The liver can produce and secrete up to 1200 milliliters of bile per day.

When the gallbladder contains stones it is known as cholelithiasis, which comes from the Greek chol (meaning bile), lith (meaning stone) and iasis (meaning process).

Sometimes stones can get caught in the biliary tract, which is also known as the biliary tree. This tract is the pathway taken by the bile secreted from the liver to the small intestines. The bile salts and acids are usually enough to break down the cholesterol; however, in those with gallbladder disease this is not the case.

In these people, the cholesterol is left to sit in the gallbladder and solidify because the bile itself does not contain enough bile salts to break it down.

This isn’t always the case, however. Sometimes the gallbladder doesn’t empty frequently enough or contract completely enough to squeeze out any excess bile. Bilirubin is the end result of the liver breaking down hemoglobin (red blood cells). These stones are typically seen in developing countries and can be the result of several different risk factors including:

Biliary tract infections

Prolonged use of proton pump inhibitorsMixed Stones

This type of stone is typically made up of anywhere from 20 to 80 percent cholesterol and bile pigments such as calcium carbonate, palmitate phosphate and bilirubin.

This test can diagnose gallstones and also detect a thickened wall of the gallbladder caused by cholecystitis; an enlarged gallbladder and bile duct caused by an obstruction; and pancreatitis.

There are drawbacks to transabdominal ultrasonography. This type of ultrasound is unable to detect stones that are smaller than four to five centimeters, and it is unable to detect a stone in the bile duct.

If performed during a gallbladder attack, transabdominal ultrasonography will not be able to detect the gallstones. However, it is painless, poses little risk to the patient and is inexpensive to perform. The patient is sedated intravenously for the test.

Because the transducer is in such close proximity to the gallbladder, common bile duct and pancreas, the images received are much more detailed making it easier to spot smaller stones. This form of ultrasound does pose more risk to the patient, mainly because of the intravenous sedation.

The patient is sedated for the procedure, and the endoscope slides down the patient’s esophagus to the duodenum. A dye is then injected via a cannula (a small plastic catheter that is passed through a channel in the endoscope) into both the pancreas and biliary tree making them visible on an x ray.

With this procedure, small gallstones trapped in the common and hepatic bile ducts can be removed (if need be) possibly alleviating the need for more invasive surgery in the future.

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