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What Are Gallbladder Polyps?

What are gallbladder polyps?

A gallbladder polyp is a growth or lump that emanates from the lining inside the gallbladder. The vast majority of gallbladder polyps are benign and do not cause any symptoms. In fact, around 95% are not cancerous. There are a few common types that are caused by various factors, these are:

  • Cholesterol polyps – Also known as pseudopolyps. Caused by a build-up of cholesterol deposits, and may indicate the gallbladder condition known as cholecystitis.
  • Inflammatory polyps – Caused by scar tissue in the gallbladder walls, also associated with chronic inflammation condition cholecystitis.
  • Adenomatous polyps – These polyps are rare benign tumours that are more frequent in those who have had gallstones. The estimate for their chances of becoming cancerous is around 0.5%. However, gallstones are not a direct cause of polyps.
  • Adenomyomatosis – This form of polyp forms cysts in the wall of the gallbladder and is more common as you age. It is not considered harmful.
  • Malignant polyps – These are cancerous polyps. The most common type of cancer that affects the internal organs is adenocarcinoma.

What are the symptoms of gallbladder polyps?

Most of the time, gallbladder polyps cause no symptoms. They are usually discovered during medical checks and procedures. However, sometimes inflammation of the gallbladder can affect other areas of the body and cause pain and other issues. Here are some of the symptoms of gallbladder polyps:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Jaundice

How are gallbladder polyps identified and treated?

Gallbladder polyps are usually identified with the use of an ultrasound scan on the abdomen, but may also require a CT scan or endoscopic ultrasound. Unfortunately, there is no real way of knowing for sure whether a gallbladder polyp is cancerous whilst it remains in the body, so if a medical professional thinks there is a chance that it could do you future harm, they may recommend you for gallbladder removal surgery.

There are very few, if any, long-term side effects of living without a gallbladder. The procedure is very common and is not considered high-risk. However, due to the nature of risk associated with any serious medical procedure, it is still not considered unless deemed absolutely necessary.

For some diet and lifestyle tips for a healthy gallbladder, we recommend reading our guide.

Book an appointment today

If you have pain in your gallbladder area, it is more likely to be caused by an issue other than polyps, such as gallstones. However, most gallstones are harmless. For common misconceptions about gallstones, please read our article. Contact emergency medical help immediately if you are suffering from intense abdominal pain.

If you believe you may be suffering from gallbladder issues and wish to book an appointment, or if you are just in need of some friendly, professional advice, contact us today using the form on our website, by calling 07508 747 723.