What Is the Courvoisier Sign?

The Courvoisier sign

The Courvoisier sign, sometimes known as Courvoisier’s law, describes a gall bladder that’s enlarged because of bile buildup. At these times, you are able to end up finding or feel your gall bladder using your skin.

Usually, your gall bladder releases bile to your digestive tract. This can help the body process fats. If bile production is in some way blocked, your gall bladder fills track of bile and expands.

Do you know the signs and symptoms?

The primary characteristic of the Courvoisier sign is definitely an enlarged gall bladder that you could feel using your skin. Generally, it doesn’t cause any discomfort.

You could also notice signs and symptoms of jaundice, that is a yellow tint inside your skin or eyes. Although this look alarming, it isn’t always a reason to be concerned, and it is a typical characteristic of many gall bladder conditions.

Why it happens?

The Courvoisier sign is a result of blockage from the bile duct that moves bile out of your gall bladder to your small intestine.

This could happen when whether harmless or cancerous tumor blocks your bile duct. Bear in mind that gallstones cause your gall bladder to contract and aren’t a contributing factor to the Courvoisier sign.

How’s this diagnosed?

To check on for that Courvoisier sign, your physician will begin by feeling your abdomen. Whether they can feel your gall bladder, they’ll likely perform some additional testing, even though you do not have other signs and symptoms, for example jaundice.

These tests include:

Ultrasound. This gives real-time pictures of your gall bladder and surrounding tissues, which supports your physician see what’s blocking your bile duct.

CT scan. This uses X-sun rays from various angles to produce a mix-sectional picture of your gall bladder and also the surrounding tissues.

MRI. This uses magnets and radio waves to produce pictures of within your body, such as the gall bladder and bile duct.

How’s it treated?

Courvoisier’s sign doesn’t need treatment itself. Treatment depends upon the reason for the Courvoisier’s sign.

If blockage is a result of a benign tumor, your physician may perform surgery to get rid of the tumor and permit bile to circulate again. When the tumor is cancerous, your physician will take away the tumor before cancerous cells can spread to nearby organs.

Your physician could use laparoscopic surgery to get rid of a tumor or perhaps your gall bladder, if it is not functioning correctly. To get this done, your physician will:

provide you with general anesthesia

make several small cuts inside your abdomen

insert small tools along with a camera with the cuts to get rid of tissue or cut away your gall bladder out of your liver and intestine

close the little cuts using dissolvable stitches

If cancerous cells have spread outside your gall bladder, your physician may place a stent, that is a small tube, to your bile duct to allow bile flow from the gall bladder. This can be done as well as other treatments that will help stop cancer from distributing, for example chemotherapy or radiotherapy to kill developing cancer cells.

What’s the outlook

Doctors frequently used the Courvoisier sign to eliminate gallstones. If you’re able to feel your gall bladder using your skin, but don’t feel much discomfort, you have in all probability something blocking your bile duct. Most blockages can be simply removed with noninvasive surgery.