Cholecystitis is a condition in which gallbladder becomes inflamed, a small organ near the liver that is responsible for the emulsification of fat. The hepatic pigment bile leaves the gallbladder on its way to the small intestine through cystic duct. If the bile flow is obstructed, it builds up inside the gallbladder, causing swelling, pain and possible infection.
What causes cholecystitis?
A gallstone trapped in the cystic duct, a tube that carries bile from the gallbladder, is often the cause of sudden (acute) cholecystitis. The gallstone does not allow fluid to leave the gallbladder. This causes irritation and swelling of the gallbladder. Infection or trauma, such as an injury caused by a car accident, can also cause cholecystitis.
Signs and Symptoms
Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen that can sometimes travel to the back or right shoulder blade. Other symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensibility in the right part of the abdomen.
- Pain that gets worse when you inhale deeply.
Older people may not have a fever or pain. It is possible that its only symptom is a sensitive area in the abdomen.
The factors that can increase the risk of cholecystitis are gallstones, being a woman or having an advanced age.
How is Cholecystitis Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of cholecystitis begins when you describe your symptoms to the doctor. Next, a physical examination is performed. Your doctor will carefully feel the upper right part of your abdomen to see if it is sensitive.
Ultrasound may show gallstones, a thickening of the gallbladder wall, extra fluid, and other signs of cholecystitis. This test also allows doctors to evaluate the size and shape of your gallbladder.
They may also do a gallbladder scan, which is a test that checks the function of the gallbladder. It can also help detect a blockage in the ducts (bile ducts) that go from the liver to the gallbladder and the small intestine (duodenum).
Treatment and Management
Surgery to remove the gallbladder
Because cholecystitis comes back frequently, most people diagnosed with long cholecystitis require surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). When you feel better, your doctor may recommend a cholecystectomy. When you are going to have surgery depends on your situation. If you have complications from cholecystitis, such as gangrene or gallbladder perforation, you may need to undergo surgery right away.
Medications to control intestinal inflammation
If your bowel is severely damaged, your doctor may recommend steroids to control the inflammation. Steroids can relieve the intense signs and symptoms of the celiac disease while the gut heals.