Doctor's Notes on Cholecystitis (Gallbladder Inflammation)
Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder. The signs and symptoms of cholecystitis may include the following:
- Upper-right abdominal pain (most common symptom)
- Abdominal cramping
- Pain may radiate to the right shoulder or scapula.
- Pain may be intermittent but usually becomes constant once inflammation begins.
- Pain may begin in the epigastric area and localizes in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen.
- Right upper quadrant tenderness and possible palpable, enlarged gallbladder
- Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin) if the duct from the liver and gallbladder entering the intestine is blocked
- The elderly and children may not have the usual symptoms.
The following are causes of cholecystitis:
- Gallstones that block (obstruct) the cystic duct
- Bile duct scarring or narrowing
- Bile duct obstructing tumors
- Trauma to the gallbladder or the bile duct
- Gallbladder infections
Treatments depend on the cause and severity of complications. Many patients may receive outpatient treatments while others may require surgical care, including gallstone and/or gallbladder removal.
Gallstones: Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.