Yes. Car accidents can cause damage to a number of organs in the abdomen, including the gallbladder. The most common gallbladder injuries in car accidents are rupture of the gallbladder, and damage that causes inflammation of the gallbladder, which can lead to rupture in time. These types of gallbladder problems are life-threatening and need to be treated immediately.
What is the gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small organ that sits below the liver on the right side of the abdomen. It is the liver’s “helper,” and its main job is to store bile. Bile is a digestive enzyme made by the liver, and the gallbladder stores it until the body needs it for digestion. In addition to aiding digestion by breaking down fats, bile also helps keep the liver healthy by draining waste products out of the liver into the digestive tract.
How does a car accident cause gallbladder problems?
There are several ways the gallbladder could be affected in a car accident, but the most common is through seat belt compression. Seat belt compression is when the force of being thrown forward against the restraint of a seat belt causes injuries—especially in the abdomen. While most seat belt injuries cause only minor bruising, it is possible for them to cause damage to the organs inside the abdomen, including the liver, spleen, pancreas and gallbladder.
The type of damage varies from case to case:
- It could be inflammation. An inflamed gallbladder is likely to rupture eventually if not treated.
- In some cases, there may already be a rupture. A ruptured gallbladder is extremely dangerous, because it allows bile to leak into the surrounding tissues of your body—outside of your digestive tract. In other words, the same enzyme that is supposed to digest food will start to “digest” or dissolve your own tissue. A rupture can also lead to severe infection.
These issues are potentially life-threatening and require immediate medical treatment.
Should I try a gallbladder cleanse to fix my gallbladder problem after a car accident?
No, you need to see a doctor immediately. A gallbladder cleanse or “liver flush” diet can work in some cases—but the only thing it does it help break up gallstones. In a car accident, your gallbladder problems are likely not related to gallstones. Instead, they are usually related to direct damage to the gallbladder, meaning a cleanse or flush will not help. This kind of damage can be life-threatening, especially if you put off treatment.
Your doctor can run tests to find out if the problem is inflammation, a rupture, or gallstones. If gallstones are the problem after all, then yes, they may recommend you try a cleanse diet depending on how large the gallstones have become. But if it turns out you have a rupture, you will need immediate emergency treatment.
Never put off getting medical attention when there is a possible gallbladder injury.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
If you or someone you love developed a gallbladder condition after a car accident, you need to know that insurance could cover all your costs—but the insurer is unlikely to offer you enough money at first. In many cases they will claim the gallbladder issue was not even caused by the accident!
Do not face your claim alone. Let us put you in touch with some of Atlanta’s best car accident attorneys—free of charge. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your FREE consultation today.