What is acute cholecystitis?

Acute cholecystitis involves inflammation of the gallbladder. The condition typically develops if a gallstone obstructs the cystic duct.

It is important to note that gallstones are miniature-sized stones that are composed of cholesterol that develop in the gallbladder. It is important to note that the cystic duct is the major aperture of the gallbladder. Acute cholecystitis is considered as a serious condition and generally managed in a healthcare facility with rest, intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Indications

acute-cholecystitis

The characteristic indication of acute cholecystitis is abrupt sharp pain in the upper right-hand of the abdomen.

The characteristic indication of acute cholecystitis is abrupt sharp pain in the upper right-hand of the abdomen. The pain can even radiate to the right shoulder.

The affected region of the abdomen is usually tender and deep breathing aggravates the pain. This pain is continuous and does not settle within a few hours.

In some cases, other symptoms might be present such as:

  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bulge in the abdomen
  • Yellowing of the white part of the eye and skin (jaundice)

Management of acute cholecystitis

If an individual is diagnosed with acute cholecystitis, he/she might be admitted to a hospital for treatment.

Initial care

The primary care usually includes:

  • Fasting or not eating or drinking to relieve the strain from the gallbladder
  • Administration of intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Medications for pain relief

Antibiotics are also given if infection is present. These are taken for up to a week, during which time hospitalization is required or the individual can go home. After the primary treatment, any gallstones that triggered the condition usually move back into the gallbladder and the inflammation often settles.

Surgery

The removal of the gallbladder might be suggested at some point after the initial treatment to prevent the recurrence of the condition as well as lower the risk for developing serious complications.

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