Removing the gallbladder is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. Many patients have their gallbladders removed due to cholecystitis.
Definition of Cholecystitis
Cholecystitis is defined as an inflammation of the gallbladder.
Anatomy of Cholecystitis
The gallbladder is a small organ that sits nestled into the lower aspect of the liver. The gallbladder stores bile acids and secretes them after a meal to help digest food. Bile contains enzymes that help to break down the fat present in foods. When patients eat fatty meals the gallbladder works harder secrete more bile. This is why patients with cholecystitis or symptomatic cholelithiasis have pain after fatty meals.
Causes of Cholecystitis
One of the most common reasons for cholecystitis is when gallstones get stuck at the cystic duct or exit of the gallbladder. This causes bile to back up and inflames the gallbladder. People can also develop an infection in their gallbladder that can cause inflammation. Finally, gallbladder cancer can cause inflammation and present as symptoms of cholecystitis.
Symptoms of Cholecystitis
Patients with inflammation of the gallbladder will develop pain in the right upper quadrant just under the rib cage. This pain usually is worse when someone presses the area directly below the ribs. While the pain might become constant, the pain usually waxes and wanes in severity as the gallbladder contracts and then relaxes. The pain can be associated with fever, nausea, and vomiting as well. For most patients, the pain will get worse after eating greasy food.
Diagnosis of Cholecystitis
Cholecystitis is diagnosed using a combination of clinical findings and imaging. In addition to abdominal pain, an ultrasound will show a thickened gallbladder wall and usually some fluid surrounding it. Gallstones are also a common finding but not essential for the diagnosis.
Prevention of Cholecystitis
Cholecystitis can often be prevented by maintaining a healthy body weight and eating a balanced diet without an excessive amount of fat.
Am I At Risk for Cholecystitis
People eating a high-fat diet is likely at risk for cholecystitis.
Treatment of Cholecystitis
Cholecystitis can be treated with antibiotics. However, this rarely is a successful long-term treatment. While drainage with a percutaneous tube is also an option, most patients do very well with removal of the gallbladder. This can be performed minimally invasively with several small incisions or in an open fashion if the surgeon is unable to safely visualize the cystic duct and artery. The in both operative cases the surgeon will localize the cystic duct and artery, divide them, and remove the gallbladder.
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Patients having cholecystitis is a serious and sensitive situation that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Cholecystitis can cause serious pain and can have serious consequences which deserves the attention of an insightful general surgeon. Well-rounded surgeons like Dr. Jenna Kazil spend years training and treating cholecystitis. Patients in need of laparoscopic or open cholecystectomy surgery on Florida’s West Coast should locate a sophisticated general surgeon who has the surgical skills necessary to perform these serious surgical operations for the benefit of their patients. Dr. J. Kazil is a proficient general surgeon who has developed an impressive track record of successful cases in laparoscopic or open cholecystectomy. Dr. Kazil understands the important circumstances that drive the treatment with the accuracy and compassion that everyone expects from an acquainted general surgeon. Jenna Kazil, MD, FACS, RPVI is an expert surgical specialist working as a vascular and general surgeon seeing patients from South Sarasota to East Desoto and Hardee to North Hillsborough to West Manatee and Pinellas counties. Patients requiring laparoscopic or open cholecystectomy should contact Dr. Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic located in Bradenton, FL today to schedule an appointment with a unique experienced doctor that possesses a unique blend of expert skills and compassionate care.