Gallbladder disease can be difficult to diagnose without imaging tests. If your doctor suspects that you could have a problem with your gallbladder, he or she may refer you to an imaging center in San Antonio to examine your gallbladder and determine if there are signs of inflammation or infection. Here is what you need to know.
Gallbladder disease may be symptomless.
In many instances, gallbladder disease may not cause any symptoms, so you may have gallstones or another issue without ever being diagnosed. However, some people do experience symptoms, including abdominal pain, especially in the upper right side of the abdomen, and pain that appears after you eat. Some people also experience nausea, vomiting, heartburn, indigestion, and excessive gas. If an infection is present, a fever may also occur. If you have these symptoms and your doctor cannot pinpoint another cause, he or she may refer you to an imaging center for diagnostic testing.
Medical imaging tests are necessary to make a diagnosis.
Medical imaging tests are extremely useful in diagnosing gallbladder disease. In some cases, it may be necessary to use more than one kind of imaging to make a definitive diagnosis. An ultrasound is helpful in finding small gallstones but cannot capture other kinds of inflammation. X-rays are good for finding gallstones that contain calcium. A CT scan can identify inflammation, tears, and ruptures as well as gallstones. An MRI can find abnormalities in the gallbladder, including cancer, but cannot spot small gallstones. If one kind of imaging test is not successful in diagnosing a problem, then your doctor may refer you for a different type of test.
Additional testing is sometimes required.
In some cases, your doctor may also perform lab work, such as blood tests and urine tests, to look for elevated levels of enzymes and other abnormalities that can suggest a gallbladder problem. These tests may be used in addition to medical imaging to develop a complete picture of the type of gallbladder disease.