Acute Cholecystitis

Alternative Names: Cholecystitis – acute

Definition: Acute cholecystitis is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes severe abdominal pain.

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You may Click  See also: Chronic cholecystitis

Causes :-
In 90% of cases, acute cholecystitis is caused by gallstones in the gallbladder. Severe illness, alcohol abuse and, rarely, tumors of the gallbladder may also cause cholecystitis.

Acute cholecystitis causes bile to become trapped in the gallbladder. The build up of bile causes irritation and pressure in the gallbladder. This can lead to bacterial infection and perforation of the organ.

Gallstones occur more frequently in women than men. Gallstones become more common with age in both sexes. Native Americans have a higher rate of gallstones.

Symptoms :-

The main symptom is abdominal pain that is located on the upper right side or upper middle of the abdomen. The pain may:

*Be sharp, cramping, or dull
*Come and go
*Spread to the back or below the right shoulder blade
*Be worse after eating fatty or greasy foods
*Occur within minutes of a meal
*Shortness of breath due to pain when inhaling

Other symptoms that may occur include:
*Abdominal fullness
*Clay-colored stools
*Excess gas
*Fever
*Heartburn
*Indigestion
*Nausea and vomiting
*Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
*Stiff abdomen muscles, specially on the right side
*Chills

Diagnosis:
Because the symptoms of acute cholecystitis can resembles symptoms of other illness, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose. If doctor suspects Cholecystitis after a carefull physical examination, he or she may perform some of the following tests:-

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Blood Test:-
*Amylase and lipase
*Bilirubin
*Complete blood count ( CBC) — may show a higher-than-normal white blood cell count
*Liver function tests

Imaging tests that can show gallstones or inflammation include:

*Abdominal ultrasound
*Abdominal CT scan
*Abdominal x-ray
*Oral cholecystogram
*Gallbladder radionuclide scan
.

Treatment:-

Seek immediate medical attention for severe abdominal pain.

In the emergency room, patients with acute cholecystitis are given fluids through a vein and antibiotics to fight infection.

Although cholecystitis may clear up on its own, surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is usually needed when inflammation continues or recurs. Surgery is usually done as soon as possible, however some patients will not need surgery right away.

Nonsurgical treatment includes pain medicines, antibiotics to fight infection, and a low-fat diet (when food can be tolerated).

Emergency surgery may be necessary if gangrene (tissue death), perforation, pancreatitis, or inflammation of the common bile duct occurs.

Occasionally, in very ill patients, a tube may be placed through the skin to drain the gallbladder until the patient gets better and can have surgery.

For Alternative Medication  you may click to see:->
*Cholecystitis as related to Herbal Medicine :
*An alternative approach to acute cholecystitis :
*Acute cholecystitis – Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nature therapy :

Prognosis:-Patients who have surgery to remove the gallbladder are usually do very well.

Possible Complications:-
*Empyema (pus in the gallbladder)
*Gangrene (tissue death) of the gallbladder
*Injury to the bile ducts draining the liver (a rare complication of cholecystectomy)
*Pancreatitis
*Peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen)

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

*Call your health care provider if severe abdominal pain persists.
*Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of cholecystitis recur after an acute episode.

Prevention :
Removal of the gallbladder and gallstones will prevent further attacks. Follow a low-fat diet if you are prone to gallstone attacks.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000264.htm

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