Acute cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ that sits below your liver and helps your body digest fat.
Cholecystitis can become very severe and in most cases requires immediate medical attention. See your doctor as soon as possible if you think you have acute cholecystitis.
This condition can become chronic if it persists for a prolonged period of time, or if you’re having recurring symptoms from the inflammation.
Symptoms of Acute Cholecystitis
The most common sign that you have acute cholecystitis is abdominal pain that lasts for several hours. This pain is usually in the middle or right side of your upper abdomen. It may also spread to your right shoulder or back.
Pain from acute cholecystitis can feel like sharp pain or dull cramps. It’s often described as excruciating.
Other symptoms include:
yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
pain, typically after a meal
Diagnosing Acute Cholecystitis
The symptoms of acute cholecystitis can resemble many other illnesses. Your doctor will want to know about your medical history as well as your symptoms. They’ll probably check your abdomen for swelling or tender areas. They may order additional tests, such as the following:
Hepatobiliary scintigraphy is a procedure that creates an image of the upper portion of your small intestine, liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts.
Cholangiography uses dye injected into your bile ducts to show the gallbladder and bile ducts on an X-ray.
Abdominal ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your organs. This is the most commonly ordered imaging test that’s used to diagnose cholecystitis.
CT scans are computerized images used to create images of your internal organs.