In cholecystitis, the gallbladder is inflamed and swollen. This is usually a consequence of gallstones that interfere with the flow from the gallbladder to the intestine. Inflammation is sometimes the result of an infection that spreads from the intestine.
Symptoms of the cholecystitis itself can be preceded by severe pain in the upper abdomen, usually on the right side. With the development of cholecystitis the temperature rises, after which nausea and vomiting occur.
If the disease is not treated, a jaundice may develop. In rare cases, when the gallbladder is swollen to the extent it ruptures, a particularly difficult form of peritonitis may develop.
In the United Kingdom, the incidence of cholecystitis is 1 case per 1000 inhabitants. Three quarters of these patients are cases with previous problems related to gallbladder.
What to do?
If you think you have cholecystitis, and especially if you have had problems with gallbladder, contact your doctor immediately. You will probably be taken to the hospital and given an intravenous infusions of nutrients and medicines (pain killers and broad spectrum antibiotics against infection). As infections and inflammations are reduced, tests are performed to determine the root cause. People suffering from cholecystitis are usually advised to remove the gallbladder. In severe cases of this disease, the operation is performed as soon as the patient reaches the hospital.