Gallbladder tumors are not so common growths. However, thanks to improvements in imaging techniques and their increased utilization doctors can easily confirm the presence of these tumors even during routinely performed exams or exams performed in other purposes.
It is estimated that around 5% of people who undergo ultrasonography of the abdomen will be diagnosed with a gallbladder polyp. Malignant gallbladder tumor (gallbladder cancer) does not occur so frequently. It is essential to mention that some gallbladder polyps may eventually transform into malignant tumors and this is why they require proper treatment.
The Gallbladder: Benign Lesions
Out of all benign gallbladder lesions only adenomatous polyps are considered to be precancerous lesions, with potential to transform into a cancer. Benign lesions of this organ can be easily identified with ultrasound of the abdomen, but more details are achieved with CT scan or MRI of the area. Pathohistological analysis is only possible after taking samples of the tumor or complete surgical removal of the growth.
Around half of all polypoid growths of the gallbladder are cholesterol polyps. It seems that these tumors develop as a consequence of abnormality in cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol polyps are yellow tumors located on the mucosal surface of the organ. They contain macrophages with ingested triglycerides and esterified sterols. A person may have multiple such tumors in the gallbladder with most of them not exceeding 10 mm in size. In most cases, when the tumor is solitary and not large, patients do not complain about any health issue.
This is a condition characterized by thickened gallbladder with many intramural diverticula. The appearance of adenomyomatosis may resemble adenomatous polyps or even gallbladder cancer and this is why it requires further evaluation. Also, some scientists believe that adenomyomatosis may be an initiator of a gallbladder cancer. Therefore, it may require a more aggressive treatment.
These are primary benign lesions with potential to develop into gallbladder cancer. A tumor mass is pedunculated i.e. supported by a peduncle. The tumor is complex and branching protruding inside the lumen of the organ.Inflammatory Polyps
Such benign lesions develop due to chronic inflammation and may also protrude inside the lumen of the gallbladder being attached to the wall by a narrow stalk.
Other Benign Gallbladder Lesions
Apart from the mentioned there are several more benign lesions that may develop in this organ. They include fibromas, lipomas, hemangiomas, heterotrophic tissue and granular cell tumors.
The treatment for almost all benign gallbladder tumors is surgical resection.