SHRUNKEN GALL BLADDER
by KAY-SEIDEN, Jul 26, 1998
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOUR GALL BLADDER HAS SHRUNK AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO CORRECT IT?
Dear Kay Seiden,
Before I present the significance of a shrunken gall bladder, allow me to briefly describe the function of the gall bladder. The gall bladder is a sac-like organ that rests under the liver. It acts as a reservoir for the bile made by the liver. Between meals bile secreted by the liver accumulates in the gall bladder. During digestion, the gall bladder contracts releasing the bile into the small bowel where it is important for fat digestion. After the meal, the gall bladder stays contracted for a variable period of time before it fills up with bile again.
If your ultrasound study was done a short time after you ate, it would be normal to have a shrunken gall bladder. There are diseases, however, that can cause a small gall bladder. If you have inflammation and/or scarring of the gall bladder wall e.g. with gall stones or after cholecystitis, then you would have an abnormal small gall bladder. Usually, there have been signs or symptoms of inflammation e.g. abdominal pain, jaundice, fever etc. From the information that you have provided, we can not provide a definitive explanation for your shrunken gall bladder.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical questions.
*keywords: gall bladder, gall stones, cholecystitis