About the disease
Cholecystitis is a condition, whereby the gallbladder becomes inflamed and as a result the bile flow becomes obstructed. Gallbladder is located near the liver. It is responsible for assisting the digestion of food. Gallbladder produces special bile, which passes from the gallbladder to the small intestine. If this bile flow becomes obstructed, the gallbladder can become inflamed, swollen and cause pain. In some cases, cholecystitis can result in serious infection as well. The most common underlying cause of cholecystitis is the gallstone accumulation, as gallstones most frequently create the obstruction of the bile flow. In some cases previous traumas of the gallbladder and injuries accumulated during the accident or fight, can also result in cholecystitis. In rare cases cholecystitis can develop as a secondary condition resulting from such infections as HIV. Certain endocrinological diseases of pancreas such as diabetes can cause development of cholecystitis as well.
There are two main types of cholecystitis: chronic and acute one. The chronic cholecystitis usually develops as a result of gallstones. Chronic cholecystitis develops gradually and some time can pass before it manifests itself as pain. Acute cholecystitis develops rapidly and is in most cases is a result of some infections or traumas of the gallbladder. In chronic cholecystitis the gallbladder walls can become thick and hard, that`s why this type of cholecystitis is considered to be more dangerous.
- Pain in the upper abdomen on right side
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Abdominal tenderness
- Pain can become more acute after a person takes deep breath
- During a general examination a doctor will use palpitation on the abdomen to determine which area of the abdomen is tender and causes the pain.
- An ultrasound of the gallbladder is used to determine there are gallstones in the bladder, which could have caused cholecystitis.
- Imaging tests of the gallbladder are used to see if the gallbladder functions properly.
- A blood test is used to rule out the possibility of an infection.
- Conservative treatment is used to reduce the inflammation and alleviate the pain. A patient can be prescribed special dissolving drugs, which could dissolve the gallstones over a period of time. Special antibiotics can also be used if cholecystitis was caused by bacterial infection. Dietary restrictions must be followed to speed up the recovery process and lots of fluid must be drunk as well.
- Ercp is an endoscopic procedure, used to remove the gallstones or to remove the gallbladder in severe cases of cholecystitis. Also, if a person has gallbladder obstruction a stent may be placed with the help of this procedure to widen the gallbladder passage.
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a surgery used for removing the gallbladder. It is used in severe cases of cholecystitis. A patient may need to stay in the hospital for several days after this surgery to fully recover.