What Kind Of Doctor Do You See For Gallbladder Cancer
If your doctor suspects you may have gallbladder cancer, you may be referred to a specialist, such as: A doctor who specializes in treating digestive conditions A surgeon who operates on the liver or gallbladder. A doctor who specializes in treating cancer
When to see a doctor for gallstones symptoms?
Your doctor may recommend that you be alert for symptoms of gallstone complications, such as intensifying pain in your upper right abdomen. If gallstone signs and symptoms occur in the future, you can have treatment. Treatment options for gallstones include:
Can you have gallbladder surgery if you have diabetes?
Getting Treatment for Gallbladder Problems When You Have Diabetes. People with diabetes are usually considered high risk for any surgery, including gallbladder surgery, says Krikorian. But, in most cases, when gallstones are problematic, the best course of action is to remove the gallbladder.
Research Credentials And Experience
Take time to research the doctors credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in general surgery and who performs gallbladder removal surgery on a regular basis. The more experience the surgeon has treating your condition or performing gallbladder removal surgery, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications.
Also, confirm your gallbladder removal surgeon is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. Youll find all this information on Healthgrades.com.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
This type of surgeon has completed specialized training to treat injuries, diseases and birth defects in both bone and soft tissues of the face, mouth and jaws. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon treats such problems as sleep apnea, for example, and performs revisions of disproportionate upper and lower jaws in children and adults. The latter procedure helps improve speaking, eating and chewing. It can also help alleviate temporomandibular joint dysfunction and sleep apnea.
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Remission And The Chance Of Recurrence
A remission is when cancer cannot be detected in the body and there are no symptoms. This may also be called having no evidence of disease or NED. A remission may be temporary or permanent. This uncertainty causes many people to worry that the cancer will come back. While many remissions are permanent, it is important to talk with your doctor about the possibility of the cancer returning. Understanding your risk of recurrence and the treatment options may help you feel more prepared if the cancer does return. Learn more about coping with the fear of recurrence. If the cancer returns after the original treatment, it is called recurrent cancer. It may come back in the same place , nearby , or in another place . When this occurs, a new cycle of testing will begin again to learn as much as possible about the recurrence. After this testing is done, you and your doctor will talk about the treatment options. Often the treatment plan will include the treatments described above, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, but they may be used in a different combination or given at a different pace. Your doctor may suggest clinical trials that are studying new ways to treat this type of recurrent cancer. Whichever treatment plan you choose, palliative care will be important for relieving symptoms and side effects.
Is Your Gallbladder The Problem
- Is Your Gallbladder The Problem?
Your gallbladder probably isnt one of the parts of your body you think about on a day-to-day basis, but it does perform a valuable function. The gallbladder, which is found just under your liver, is a small organ that contains the bile that your body uses to break down and digest the fats in your food. Your body can function just fine without one, but may require an adjustment in your diet. Although gallbladder removal surgery is a viable solution for some people who experience gallbladder conditions, it is not usually the first course of action when treating them.
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What Doctor Treats Gallbladder Issues
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What Is A Gallbladder And Gallstone
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped pouch underneath the liver that stores the bile, a chemical fluid, produced by the liver and helps digest fatty food.
Occasionally, gallbladder becomes swollen and inflamed and needs to be removed. A condition with the swollen gallbladder is called as cholecystitis. The most common cause of cholecystitis is gallbladder stones .
A gallbladder stone is formed because of the bile getting concentrated around a source . The source may be an infective focus, fat, or a hardened piece of bile secretion itself. Gallbladder stones can cause the pancreas to swell or cause jaundice by obstruction of the bile flow.
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Gallstones Might Be More Severe If It Is Left Untreated
6 minute read
Gallstones are one of the most common digestive diseases which small stones are formed in the gallbladder. If gallstones lodge in a bile duct and cause a blockage, it eventually results in severe life-threatening complications such as bile duct inflammation and infection, pancreatitis or cholecystitis . In addition, if left untreated, it might increase risk of gallbladder cancer. Statistical data reviews that gallstones have been commonly found in women rather than men, age between 30-50. Since signs and symptoms are quite similar, patients with gallstones often misunderstand that they might have peptic ulcer. Self-treatment by taking antacid and anti-ulcer medications without having an accurate diagnosis results in an increased severity, frequently presented with emergency conditions that require immediate treatments. Knowing the early signs of gallstones must be aware in order to get the disease diagnosed in due time and receive appropriate medical treatment.
Why Are Women More At Risk Of Developing Gallstones
Estrogen increases cholesterol, and progesterone slows down gallbladder contractions. Both hormones are especially high during certain periods in your reproductive life, such as menstruation and pregnancy. When hormone levels begin to drop in menopause, many people use hormone therapy to replace them, which elevates them again.
Women and people assigned female at birth are also more likely to gain and lose body fat more frequently. Excessive body fat can translate to extra cholesterol in your blood. Having obesity increases estrogen. On the other hand, rapid weight loss has a similar effect to weight gain. When you lose a lot of body fat at once, it sends an unusually large load of cholesterol to your liver for processing, which ends up in your bile.
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How Does Gallbladder Disease Affect My Body
When the gallbladder cant do its job, bile cant flow to your small intestine to help with digestion, and instead builds up in your blood. Since bile in your small intestine is important for breaking down fats, you may have some digestive difficulties, especially digesting fatty foods. Since bile is also a carrier for toxins that the liver has filtered from your body, bile that builds up in your blood will make you sick. A sick gallbladder can also be intensely painful.
Most gallbladder diseases can be treated in surgery, either by removing gallstones or removing the whole gallbladder. Surgeons redirect the bile ducts to flow directly from your liver to your small intestine without stopping in the gallbladder first. In this way, digestive processes can continue normally and you can live well without your gallbladder. But complications of gallbladder disease to other parts of your body can be more lasting if they arent addressed early enough.
Surgery To Remove The Gallbladder
While the gallbladder serves an important function, it is not essential for a normal, healthy life. When gallstones are persistently troublesome, doctors often recommend removing the organ entirely. This operation is considered among the safest of all surgical procedures. Each year approximately 750,000 Americans have their gallbladder removed. It is also the only treatment method that eliminates the possibility that other gallstones will develop in the future.
When the gallbladder has been removed, bile flows directly from the liver into the small intestine, and this sometimes leads to diarrhea. Because bile no longer accumulates in the gallbladder, quantities of the digestive fluid cannot be stored up and used to break down an especially fatty meal. This condition is not considered serious, however, and can be corrected by simply limiting fat in the diet.
In the past, removal of the gallbladder was done through traditional “open” surgery, which requires surgeons to make a large incision in the abdomen. Patients faced a two- or three-day hospital stay plus several weeks of recovery at home.
Today, however, the most commonly used surgical technique is a much simpler approach known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The doctor makes several small incisions in the abdomen, then uses special pencil-thin instruments to remove the gallbladder. A tiny microscope and video camera, snaked through the incision to the site, allow the surgeon to view the operation.
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When Does Your Doctor Suggest The Removal Of The Gallbladder
If these gallstones arent causing any symptoms, then your doctor may not advise surgery. Generally, these stony structures formed in gallbladder do not dissolve with any medications. They may block the ducts, and you may experience many other severe debilitating symptoms called gallbladder attack. These symptoms are as follows:
- Intense, sharp, knife-like pain in your upper belly that may last several hours
Determine Your Insurance Benefit
Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your surgery, you need to choose a surgeon that participates in your plan.
But keep in mind, just because a doctor participates in your insurance plan doesnt mean he or she is a high-quality doctor. You still need to consider the doctors experience and expertise.
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What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Cholelithiasis
Ultrasound: An abdominal ultrasound is a simple and noninvasive test that requires no preparation or medication. Its usually all thats needed to locate gallstones. However, it doesnt visualize the common bile duct very well. If your healthcare provider suspects theres a gallstone hidden in there, they might need to use another type of imaging test to find it.
MRCP: Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography is a type of MRI that specifically visualizes the bile ducts. Its non-invasive and creates very clear images of your biliary system, including the common bile duct. Your provider might use this test first to find a suspected gallstone there. But if theyre already pretty sure its there, they might skip it and go straight to an ERCP.
ERCP: ERCP stands for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. This test is a little more invasive, but its a useful one for finding gallstones because it can also be used to remove them from the ducts if they are stuck there. It uses a combination of X-rays and endoscopy, which means passing a tiny camera on the end of a long tube down your throat and into your upper GI tract.
__Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography can diagnose and sometimes treat gallstones.
Endoscopic ultrasound passes through the mouth to the common bile duct and gall bladder.
Gallbladder Disease Treatment At Lee Health
- Cholecystectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder. The surgery can be performed using either traditional or minimally invasive techniques.
- Biliary bypass is a surgical procedure that treats gallbladder or bile duct cancer, particularly if a tumor is blocking the small intestine . During the procedure, a surgeon creates a detour, or bypass, around the blockage, which reroutes the bile so it can flow into the small intestine.
If you have gallbladder cancer or bile duct cancer, your gastroenterologist will work closely with Lee Health cancer specialists to create a customized treatment plan.
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Who Do You See For Gallstones
Gallstones dont always show signs or cause symptoms. Its possible to have a gallstone, or several gallstones, and not even know. If you do not experience any symptoms, theres typically no need to treat gallstones. However, if you experience symptoms associated with gallstone complications, you should seek medical care. Talk to your primary care physician if you think you have gallstones your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist.
Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of These Symptoms Call Your Doctor Immediately Or Get Emergency Medical Treatment:
- frequent urination or pain when you urinate
Ursodiol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
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What Are The 5 Fs Of Gallbladder Disease
The five Fs were a mnemonic device that healthcare providers used in the past to memorize common risk factors for gallbladder disease. The five Fs were: fair, female, fat, fertile and 40. They were based on statistics, but they are controversial today because they add up to a kind of stereotype. If healthcare providers are looking for a specific profile when diagnosing gallbladder disease, they might be misled to jump to conclusions, overlooking patients who dont fit the profile or overlooking other possible diagnoses in patients who do. However, the five Fs do reflect common risk factors.
Fair is based on the fact that white populations are more often affected by gallbladder disease. This might be partially genetic, or it might have more to do with the modern Western diet. Female is based on the fact that women are more than twice as likely to be affected. Fat is a generalization of people who may have a high-cholesterol diet or people who may have diabetes. Fertile is based on the fact that women who are or have been pregnant are more likely to have been affected by high estrogen. And forty is based on the fact that risk increases with age, so people who are at least forty are more likely to have it.
What Are The Complications Or Side Effects Of Gallstone Surgery
After laparoscopic surgery, you may have some abdominal gas and gas pain. You can have this after ERCP too. Both methods pump gas into your organs to expand them and help them show up better in images. It will pass in a day or so. Complications during the operation are rare but include bleeding, infection, and injury to nearby organs.
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Gallbladder Disease Treatment: Endoscopic Gallbladder Stenting
Endoscopic gallbladder stenting is another nonsurgical approach to treat gallstones. It is useful in treating high-risk patients who cannot undergo surgery, usually due to an illness. During this procedure, your doctor performs an ERCP and inserts a stent from the gallbladder to the duodenum. The stent relieves biliary symptoms and complications.
How Is Gallbladder Disease Treated
- Pain medication. Acute episodes of biliary colic, or gallbladder attacks, often require prescription pain medication to manage. Your healthcare provider will help determine the right medication for you, based on your medical history and symptoms.
- Antibiotics. If you have an infection, your healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics to treat it. This is often only a precursor to surgical treatment.
- Endoscopic intervention. Your healthcare provider may be able to fix minor gallbladder problems using an endoscope, before resorting to surgery. An ERCP and/or EUS exam can reveal blockages, tumors and stones that may be causing problems. During the exams, your healthcare provider may be able to remove gallstones, place stents to open up bile ducts and take tissue samples for biopsy, using instruments on the end of the endoscope.
- Surgery. The only permanent and effective solution for persistent gallbladder disease is gallbladder removal surgery . This is a common treatment, and you can live well without your gallbladder. Most people can have their gallbladder removed through minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy requires only a few small incisions. More complicated cases of infection or gallbladder cancer may require open surgery.
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What Can I Expect If I Have Gallbladder Disease
Most gallbladder disease ends in surgery , but youll be in good company if it comes to that. Most people recover quickly and dont have long-term side effects from the surgery. You may have some temporary digestive difficulties while recovering. You might have to avoid fatty foods at first while your body is adjusting to the lack of a gallbladder. Most people are able to resume a normal but healthy diet after a few months.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Gallbladder disease can sneak up on you. By the time you have symptoms, it may already be serious. Fortunately, most gallbladder diseases are easily treated with minimally-invasive surgery. The important thing is to take symptoms seriously, even if they arent severe. You may have mild passing biliary pain that seems to resolve itself, but this can become a persistent and growing problem. Dont wait for the intense alarm symptoms of acute cholecystitis, or for the long-term damage caused by chronic cholecystitis. Your healthcare provider can locate and often remove problematic gallstones through common outpatient testing procedures.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2022.