Gallbladder Symptoms and Gallbladder Polyps

As you may know, gallstones can be quite common, but how are gallbladder symptoms and polyps related? Gallbladder polyps are quite unlike gallstones. They range from 1 to 10 mm long and are usually benign (non-cancerous). They are small projections that emerge from the walls of the gallbladder.

Gallbladder polyps are non-cancerous and often don’t require treatment. Often, doctors will request follow-ups to reexamine the polyps for changes in size. A change in the size of the polyp may be a malignant (cancerous) polyp. These follow-ups often require an ultrasound examination.

When polyps are larger than one centimetre, there is a greater chance that it may be cancerous. The greater the size of the polyps, the higher the chance that the polyps is malignant. When this is the case, doctors often will suggest cholecystectomy, a term used to describe the surgical removal of the gallbladder. When polyps are in combination with gallstones, there is an even greater risk of cancer, and it is more likely that your doctor will recommend cholecystectomy.

Gallbladder symptoms and polyps aren’t usually associated, because polyps are usually asymptomatic. In fact, only 4% of those with gallbladder pain have polyps. Therefore, many people who have polyps aren’t even aware of it. In some cases, patients do experience some discomfort, such as abdominal pain. This pain is often very mild and for many, abdominal pain is similar to other gastrointestinal problems and is often ignored or misdiagnosed…

It is only when abdominal pain is great enough for people to get an ultrasound examination that polyps are discovered. When abdominal pain is great and is associated with the gallbladder it is often caused by gallstones, not polyps.

Gallbladder polyps

There are 5 types of polyps in total. Most often, they are cholesterosis, which is formed partially from cholesterol. The other 4 types of polyps are:

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Hyperplastic
  • Adenomyomatosis
  • and cholecytosis.

To prevent polyps, eating a low-fat diet that is also rich in vegetables and fruit is advisable. In addition to that, you should avoid eating fatty foods, and minimize your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as they are known to worsen the condition of your gallbladder.

The definite way to confirm if you have polyps or not is to undergo an ultrasound examination. These examinations can easily reveal if the polyps are present or not. Polyps usually are observed as small immobile prominences that are on the mucosal walls of the gallbladder. There generally is no treatment for polyps if there are none over the size of 1cm. When polyps are greater than 1cm, they are can be malignant (cancerous) and are recommended to be removed surgically.

You’ve learned something new today about gallbladder symptoms and gallbladder polyps. What you’re going to do next? Consult with your doctor and feel free to tell others about this article too.