Gallbladder Ultrasound Screening in Tulsa, Ok
An ultrasound allows doctors to view images of the organs and soft tissues inside your body. Using sound waves, an ultrasound provides a real-time picture of your organs. This better allows medical professionals to diagnose conditions and determine the underlying causes of problems you may be experiencing.
A gallbladder ultrasound is a noninvasive and typically painless examination used to diagnose conditions related to the gallbladder. Unlike X-ray, ultrasound does not use radiation.
What is Gallbladder Ultrasound Imaging?
What is a Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small organ located on the right-hand side of an individual’s abdomen, beneath the liver. Its main function is to deliver bile into the small and large intestines.
Bile is a green-yellow fluid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder and works to help the intestines digest food content and absorb nutrients.
What is a Gallbladder Ultrasound?
A gallbladder ultrasound employs soundwave technology in order to capture an image of the gallbladder so that medical experts may evaluate whether the organ is properly structured.
Unlike a generalized abdominal ultrasound, a gallbladder ultrasound (often referred to as right upper quadrant ultrasound) is a more specialized procedure to test the gallbladder and ducts attached to it, and the patient undergoing the procedure may need to order further tests later.
Why is a Gallbladder Ultrasound performed?
The gallbladder is located under the liver on the right side of the abdomen. This pear-shaped organ stores bile, which is a digestive enzyme the liver creates and uses to break down fat. Gallbladder ultrasounds are used to diagnose a number of conditions. Your doctor may prescribe the procedure to test for gallstones, which are hardened deposits in bile that can cause nausea and abdominal pain along with back and shoulder pain. Another condition, potentially requiring a gallbladder ultrasound, is cholecystitis, where the gallbladder becomes inflamed or infected. This often results from gallstones obstructing a tube that moves bile from the gallbladder.
Other conditions a gallbladder ultrasound is conducted for include:
- Gallbladder cancer– Gallbladder cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that begins in the gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by your liver.
Gallbladder cancer is uncommon. When gallbladder cancer is discovered at its earliest stages, the chance for a cure is very good. But most gallbladder cancers are discovered at a late stage when the prognosis is often very poor. Gallbladder cancer may not be discovered until it’s advanced because it often causes no specific signs or symptoms. Also, the relatively hidden nature of the gallbladder makes it easier for gallbladder cancer to grow without being detected.
- Gallbladder empyema – An empyema is an abscess in the gallbladder. It may be a complication of acute cholecystitis or the result of infection of a mucocele. The gallbladder is distended with pus and may be palpable. Often there is swinging pyrexia. Part of the gallbladder wall may become necrotic causing perforation.
- Gallbladder polyps – Gallbladder polyps are growths or lesions resembling growths in the wall of the gallbladder. True polyps are abnormal accumulations of mucous membrane tissue that would normally be shed by the body. The main types of polypoid growths of the gallbladder include cholesterol polyp/cholesterolosis, cholesterosis with fibrous dysplasia of gallbladder, adenomyomatosis, hyperplastic cholecystosis, and adenocarcinoma.
- Porcelain gallbladder – Porcelain gallbladder is a calcification of the gallbladder believed to be brought on by excessive gallstones, although the exact cause is not clear. As with gallstone disease in general, this condition occurs predominantly in overweight female patients of middle age. It is a morphological variant of chronic cholecystitis. Inflammatory scarring of the wall, combined with dystrophic calcification within the wall transforms the gallbladder into a porcelain-like vessel. Removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is the recommended treatment.
- Gallbladder perforation – Gallbladder perforations are a serious complication of acute cholecystitis and represent an advanced stage of the disease. They tend to occur in an elderly and/or comorbid demographic and carry higher rates of morbidity and mortality.
How is the test performed?
- The technician performing the test will likely have you lie down face-up. They will apply a gel to your abdomen that prevents air pockets from forming between the transducer and the skin.
- The transducer sends and receives sound waves that reveal details such as the size and appearance of organs.
- The technician will move the transducer back and forth across your abdomen until the images are captured and ready to be interpreted. The test is usually painless and typically lasts less than 30 minutes.
- There are factors that can influence the results of your ultrasound such as obesity and excess gas in your intestines.
- It is generally recommended you wear comfortable clothing to the exam, though you may be asked to remove your clothing and wear a hospital examination gown.
- Recommended food intake differs depending on the area of your body being tested. For a gallbladder ultrasound, your doctor may request you eat a fat-free meal the day before the test and then fast for 8 to 12 hours leading up to the exam.