What is cholecystitis?

Cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder wall and nearby abdominal lining. Cholecystitis is usually caused by a gallstone in the cystic duct, the duct that connects the gallbladder to the hepatic duct. Other causes of cholecystitis may include the following:

Cholecystitis can occur suddenly or gradually over many years.

What are the symptoms of cholecystitis?

A typical attack of cholecystitis usually lasts two to three days. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of cholecystitis may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is cholecystitis diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for cholecystitis may include the following:

What is the treatment for cholecystitis?

Specific treatment for cholecystitis will be determined by your doctor based on:

Treatment for acute cholecystitis usually involves a hospital stay to reduce stimulation to the gallbladder. Antibiotics are usually administered to fight the infection. Fluids are given intravenously and the stomach is kept empty until symptoms resolve. Sometimes, the gallbladder is surgically removed, either immediately, or later after the episode of acut cholecystits has resolved.

Other treatment options may include:

The overall prognosis for cholecystitis is favorable. In some individuals, complications may arise if other organs are involved. Gallstones can return in the bile duct system after surgical removal of the gallbladder.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Liver, Biliary, & Pancreatic Disorders


Top of Page return to top of page