The gall bladder is a small organ that is situated in the vicinity of the liver. The liver produces bile, a substance that has a very important role in the digestion of fat. The gall bladder stores the bile produced by the liver and expels it inside the small intestine when the substance is required in the digestion of foods containing fat.
Many people suffer from gall bladder disease these days. The disease has a high incidence in elderly people and statistics indicate that around 15 percent of people with gall bladder disease have ages over 50. Gall bladder disease mostly occurs in women, as estrogen facilitates the development of the illness. Children and teenagers rarely develop gall bladder disease and young patients usually suffer from milder forms of the disorder. Gall bladder disease has a high incidence in overweight people, people with internal disorders (gastro-intestinal problems) and people with high blood cholesterol levels.
In the majority of cases, gall bladder disease is caused by gallstones. Gallstones are formed due to the excess of cholesterol in the bile or incomplete emptying of the gall bladder. Sometimes, gallstones are formed when the gall bladder removes too much water from the stored bile. Gallstones are solid formations that accumulate inside the gall bladder, blocking the access of the bile. The diseased gall bladder can’t sustain its normal activity and the process of digestion is perturbed.
Gall bladder disease can usually be overcome through diet and medical treatments. However, in serious forms of the disease, doctors recommend the removal of the diseased gall bladder through the means of surgical intervention. Gall bladder disease can be either chronic (chronic cholecystitis or billary colic) or acute (acute cholecystitis). Chronic cholecystitis is less serious and generates milder symptoms, while acute cholecystitis may in some cases require surgery.
The gall bladder is not considered to be a vital organ and if it is removed, the body can still sustain its normal activity. However, in the absence of the gall bladder, the liver has to produce more quantities of bile whenever food that contains fat enters the small intestine. Without a gall bladder, food digestion and absorption can sometimes be affected. People who had their gall bladder surgically removed need to respect a low-fat diet and limit the amount of food consumed during their meals. With appropriate medical treatment and good diet, the body will begin to cope with the absence of the gall bladder.
There are two common medical procedures used in gall bladder surgery: open surgery (cholecystectomy) and laparoscopic surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually preferred by both patients and surgeons, as the surgical intervention involves less risk and leaves less pronounced scars. This form of surgery is performed with the aid of a laparoscope, a tube-shaped medical instrument that has a camera attached to it. By using a laparoscope, the surgery requires smaller incisions and patients who suffer such surgical interventions recover rapidly. There are many effective means of dealing with gall bladder disease and it is important to see a doctor if you suffer from gall bladder inappropriate activity. Left untreated, gall bladder disease can aggravate and lead to complications.