Dr. Timothy ColeSurgery

5 Facts About the Gallbladder

2 min read
 It is not very big (usually described as the size of a small pear) but it can become a big pain if it becomes sick.  Gallstones and dysfunction of the wall of the gallbladder are the most common causes of a “sick” gallbladder.
You can live without your gallbladder, but sometimes it can make you sick enough to die!  Most people do just fine after having their gallbladder removed.  There are still times, however, when people become deathly ill from complications of gallbladder disease.  Your gallbladder (and the stones it sometimes creates) can cause troubles with not only the gallbladder but also the liver and the pancreas.
Just over 10% of the population have gallstones, but most of these people remain without symptoms and do not require gallbladder removal.  In fact, about 80% of those with gallstones never have symptoms.
An ultrasound of the gallbladder is usually the best test to initially look for gallbladder disease and stones.  Another test, called a HIDA scan, is sometimes used to look at the gallbladder and the gallbladder’s function.
Gallbladder removal, cholecystectomy, is a very common procedure with over 280,000 performed every year in the United States.