Gallbladder Polyps: Causes, Risks, Treatment Options, Prevention Tips


Gallbladder polyps are masses of tissue that grow in various sizes on the inside wall of the gallbladder. They may be extremely small, although some of the larger ones grow to one centimeter in diameter or larger. They often protrude from the interior lining. Approximately one in twenty-five patients are found to have gallbladder polyps when they visit their doctor for gallbladder problems.

Doctors haven’t been able to determine why gallbladder polyps grow. But statistically, someone who has reached 50 years of age or already has gallstones is more likely to have gallbladder polyps.

Five different categories of gallbladder polyps have been categorized by the medical profession.

* Cholesterosis – Of the five gallbladder polyp types, this is the most common. It is partially formed by cholesterol.

* Adenocarcinoma – This type is actually a form of gallbladder cancer, and is therefore dangerous.

The other three types are known as hyperplastic, adenomyomatosis, and cholecystosis.

Most people who have this disorder don’t even know it because gallbladder polyp symptoms are rare. However, they may cause some degree of tenderness in the abdomen. This discomfort occurs in the upper right of the abdomen, and may be steady or intermittent. If discomfort is severe and constant, it is probably not a symptom of gallbladder polyps. The cause is more likely to be gallstones.

More often than not, polyps are discovered because your doctor is diagnosing other gallbladder problem symptoms. They can be seen in a simple ultrasound test.

When polyps are detected, follow up tests will be needed to determine if they’re malignant.

Gallbladder polyp management or treatment usually isn’t needed. Gallbladder polyp surgery usually means removing the entire gallbladder, and is typically done only when the patient is experiencing a distressing level of pain. “Cholecystectomy” is the medical term for a gallbladder removal operation. A cholecystectomy is often the best way to prevent future gallbladder problems once they begin to appear. Your gallbladder is not a critical organ, so it can be removed without danger. The liver “takes over” many gallbladder functions once the gallbladder has been removed.

As was previously mentioned, the most common gallbladder polyp (known as cholesterosis) is a combination of cholesterol and tissue. To avoid gallbladder polyps (in fact to avoid most types of gallbladder problems), you should eat a low cholesterol diet that includes a lot of cholesterol free foods.

You can improve your chances of preventing gallbladder polyps and other gallbladder problems by following these additional guidelines:

* reduce your consumption of fried foods as much as possible and limit the amount of red meat in your diet

* be careful of salad dressings which contain a lot of unhealthy fats or sugars. Stick to olive oil and vinegar.

* stay away from high cholesterol, fatty foods and big meals just before bedtime

* if you wish to lose weight, do so at a moderate pace. Doing too much too fast can be harmful to your gallbladder and the rest of your digestive system.

To avoid making gallbladder trouble worse if you already have problems

* stay away from carbonated drinks

* use low fat dairy products when possible

* when shopping for meat, choose lean cuts and remove visible fat before cooking..

* ask your doctor about fish oil capsules. These contain omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the amount of cholesterol formation in bile..

* find recipes that contain ginger and tumeric, which have been shown to be good for the gallbladder.

And naturally, a diet that’s good for your gallbladder will benefit your heart too, so make sure your meals include a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains.