The gallbladder is a four-inch sac that is located beneath the liver in the upper right-hand quadrant of the abdomen. It is connected to the liver and the intestine by a series of small tubes called ducts. The primary role of the gallbladder is to store bile, which is produced and secreted continuously by the liver, until the bile is needed to aid in digestion.
Cholecystitis is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes severe abdominal pain. In 90% of cases, acute cholecystitis is caused by the presence of gallstones obstructing the duct leading from the gallbladder. It may also be caused by trauma or previous surgeries. Although relatively uncommon, gallstones and acute cholecystitis may occur in infants and children.
Ninety percent of cholecystitis cases resolve spontaneously. However, complications will develop in 10% of cases that will require surgery, antibiotics or other treatments. Pain management is an important aspect of care for gallbladder disorders. Nonsurgical treatment may consist of placement of a tube in the stomach to decompress the pressure in the abdomen as well as replacement of fluids and electrolytes through an intravenous line.
The Medifocus Guide on Cholecystitis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of cholecystitis?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing cholecystitis?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of cholecystitis?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of cholecystitis?
What treatment options are available for the management of cholecystitis?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in cholecystitis?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for cholecystitis?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about cholecystitis?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Cholecystitis caused by hemocholecyst from underlying malignancy. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2000
Acute cholecystitis: CT findings. Seminars in Ultrasound, CT & MR. 2000
Biliary tract infections: a guide to drug treatment. Drugs. 1999
Hyperbaric oxygenation as adjuvant therapy to surgery of emphysematous cholecystitis. Hepato-Gastroenterology. 1999
Gangrenous cholecystitis in the laparoscopic era. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Surgery. 2000
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in acute cholecystitis. A prospective comparative study in patients with acute vs. chronic cholecystitis. Surgical Endoscopy. 2000
Preoperative evaluation to predict technical difficulties of laparoscopic cholecystectomy on the basis of histological inflammation findings on resected gallbladder. American Journal of Surgery. 2000
Percutaneous gallbladder drainage for delayed laparoscopic cholecystectomy in patients with acute cholecystitis. American Journal of Surgery. 2000
Variation in the use of laparoscopic cholecystectomy for elderly patients with acute cholecystitis. Archives of Surgery. 2000
Selective use of tube cholecystostomy with interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy in acute cholecystitis. Archives of Surgery. 2000
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