Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder, a small organ beneath your liver. This pear-shaped organ contains and store bile, digestive fluid produced from liver, before it drain through the bile duct into the small intestine to digest fatty food. You may feel pain on the right side of the abdomen, below the right costal area as it is where the gallbladder is located. The inflammation, which usually leads to infection,mostly happens when the gallstones block the cystic duct (the tube that connect gallbladder to bile duct). Apart from gallstones, tumors, bile duct obstruction, some serious illness, and some infections are also the causes of the disease.
Pain on the right side of the abdomen where the gallbladder is located is one of the most common symptoms. You may also feel the pain in the center of abdomen and sometimes spreading to your right shoulder or back. Most of the patients may experience some fever, together with tenderness when the gallbladder was touched. Some people may experience other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and fever as well. The symptoms tend to appear after a meal, especially the great consumption of fatty food.
When to see the doctor
If the pain causes you to feel uncomfortable and no longer be able to sit still, or you experience the pain with high grade fever, immediately seek emergency medical care nearby.
Risks and Causes
Cholecystitis is normally caused by inflammation of the gallbladder. The factors frequently causing the inflammation is the block of the bile flow such as gallstones, tumor, and bile duct blockage which leads to infection of gallbladder. When these barriers block in the cystic duct , the bile builds up and causes inflammation. Some kinds of infection such as AIDS and certain viral infections are also triggers of the disease as well as blood vessel problems. When blood flow to gallbladder is insufficient from a very severe illness, it may lead to cholecystitis.
To examine the possibility of cholecystitis, the doctor will ask your history, and do the physical examination, especially at your abdomen, where gallbladder located. If acute cholecystitis is suspected, the doctor will order blood tests to seek for signs of an infection or inflammation. Imaging tests such as a abdominal ultrasound or computerized tomography (CT) scan will take place in revealing stones or signs of inflammation in gallbladder and the bile ducts.
The purpose of the treatment usually aims to control the infection and inflammation in the gallbladder. Normally, surgical gallbladder removal is the standard definite treatment of cholecystitis, combined with intravenous antibiotic. In severe cases, which patients may not tolerate surgery, emergency gallbladder drainage by puncturing through the patients’ skin may be required. During your stay in the hospital, you may be not allowed to eat or drink at first to destress the inflamed gallbladder. To prevent dehydration, fluids will be given through a vein in your arm. Pain medications are ordered to control the pain until your gallbladder gets relieved.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or ERCP may be performed to remove stones that block the bile ducts or cystic duct before gallbladder removal
Normally, the symptoms of cholecystitis tend to relieve within two or three days after surgery, if there is no surgical complications.