Gall bladder disease generally refers to the formation of gallstones inside the bile ducts, affecting the production of bile and the release of this substance when it is required in the process of digestion. In some cases, gall bladder disease may also involve bacterial infection of the biliary system. However, gallstones and bacterial infection of the biliary system are not the only causes of gall bladder disease. Although they are rare, congenital dysfunctions at the level of the gall bladder are considered to be major causes of gall bladder disease.
Congenital malformations of the gall bladder raise serious issues in the process of diagnosing the disease. If these physiological abnormalities are not revealed in time, the treatment of gall bladder disease may generate unexpected results. Patients who present unusual positioning of the gall bladder or bile ducts, patients with double gall bladder and patients with other congenital anomalies of the biliary system need special medical care according to the type and the seriousness of their physiological dysfunctions.
Considering the fact that gall bladder disease commonly requires surgery, it is very important to reveal any congenital anomalies before the surgical treatment, in order to prevent the occurrence of serious complications. However, the methods of diagnosing gall bladder disease in present can rarely reveal clear signs of congenital anomalies of the biliary system in patients. Such dysfunctions are usually observed during surgery, thus complicating the surgical procedures for gall bladder removal and exposing patients to additional risks.
A wide range of gall bladder congenital anomalies have been noticed and reported by physicians and surgeons in the last decades. A very rare congenital anomaly at the level of the biliary system is the complete absence of the gall bladder. Although in the past this particularity couldn’t be revealed by traditional methods of diagnosis, nowadays it can be spotted by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography screenings (CT). However, even these modern medical techniques can sometimes fail to timely spot such abnormalities. Apart from congenital absence of the gall bladder, reports of anomalies at the level of the biliary system include congenital separation of the gall bladder in two distinctive cavities, double gall bladder with only one vesicular bile duct, double gall bladder with distinctive vesicular bile ducts that connect to the hepatic duct and the presence of multiple, small ducts that connect the gall bladder with the liver.
There are two types of double gall bladder: gall bladder with two adjacent lobes that are separated by a soft membrane – usually having a single common duct; and double gall bladder that involves the presence of two distinctive, separate organs – that usually have separate vesicular ducts. Medical reports indicate that gall bladder disease can either affect one lobe or both lobes of the double gall bladder. However, both cases require complete surgical removal of the organ.
It is very important to timely reveal the presence of such congenital anomalies of the gall bladder in patients in order to carefully plan the surgical intervention. Although gall bladder surgery is considered to be a routine medical procedure, patients with congenital anomalies require additional medical care and sometimes even personalized forms of surgery.
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