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What Is Echogenic Material In Gallbladder?

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Echogenic material in the gallbladder is debris formed in the bile of the gallbladder. Also known as gallbladder sludge, it shifts about from time to time within the gallbladder. The material can produce low level echoes, which makes it an echogenic material. These echoes do not cast an acoustic shadow. In most cases, gallbladder sludge does not propose a health problem. It is removed by the body without causing pain or discomfort. However, in a minority of cases it can cause sludge balls to form. These can, in turn, cause the formation of gallstones, which can be very painful to the individual.

• The function of the gallbladder

The main function of the gallbladder is the aid the body in the digestion of fats. It concentrates bile produced by the liver. This bile emulsifies partly digested fats within the body. Despite the gallbladder's function in digestion, patients can have their gallbladders removed if they cause health problems. The organ is therefore not as important as the liver or kidneys in the digestion process. Many human biologists believe that humans have evolved to a stage where the gallbladder is no longer needed.

• Gallstones and the problems they present

It is possible for gallstones to form in the gallbladder and get stuck there. Gallstones can lead to pain, inflammation and even infection. That said, 'silent' gallstones can also exist - these are gallstones that are present in the gallbladder but do not cause any problems, and therefore treatment is not required. If gallstones do pose a problem, a simple operational procedure can be undertaken to remove them. They are most commonly an issue in women over the age of 40. Being overweight can also increase the risk of gallstones developing. To reduce the risk of gallstones developing, minimize the consumption of fatty foods.

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