What are Gallbladder Polyps?

Gall bladder polyps

are abnormal growths or masses on the gall bladder wall. They are mostly masses of tissue or lesions found in the mucous lining of the concerned organ. These polyps can be cancerous, but they rarely are. The said condition affects about 5% of the adult population.

What are the types of Gall bladder Polyps?

Benign Lesions

: Masses of tissue may appear on the wall of the gall bladder which are benign in nature.

Cholesterol Polyps

: This type of polyps account for 50% of all such polypoid lesions of the organ. A diet of fatty foods and an impaired cholesterol metabolism results in the deposits of fat droplets on the wall of the said organ. They are presented as finger like outgrowths due to abnormal accumulation of triglycerides and cholesterol within the epithelial lining of the wall.These are mostly yellow in color and are less than 10mm. They exist without any symptoms.

Inflamed polyps

: Chronic inflammation of the organ results in the formation of the said polyps. The polyps may grow into the lumen as a narrow stalk of tissue.


: The mucous membrane on the wall of the gall bladder is extremely thickened with irregular masses of tissue with deep folds on it. This is a benign condition but it is important to monitor it. Any increase in size may indicate a progression towards cancer.

Adenomatous Polyps

: Adenomatous polyps grows out of epithelial cells on the mucous lining of the organ. They are benign to begin with but has the potential to turn into a malignant neoplasm. The polyps or growths may branch out into the lumen. Or they may grow as a flat mass of tissue.

Adenocarcinoma or gall bladder cancer

: It is a cancer which is found in about 1.2 persons in a number of 100,000. Adenomas or certain types of polyps undergo abnormal mutations at the cellular level and can become malignant.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • Most of the times the polyps exist without any symptoms.
  • Abdominal pain could be present with larger sized polyps.
  • They are normally found incidentally while performing an ultrasound or ultrasonography of the abdomen for any other reason.

Treatment of Gallbladder Polyps

  • For smaller polyps which are benign and less than 1 cm in diameter, there is less fear of malignancy. They need not be removed and generally exist without any symptom.
  • Polyps which are larger than 1 cm in diameter coupled with gall stones may need surgical removal of the gall bladder.

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