The gallbladder is the organ that is located below the liver and that is responsible for storing bile that has not yet been used for digestion, and that will help the intestines to digest fats. Chronic cholecystitis is a condition caused by prolonged irritation and inflammation of the gallbladder, usually due to gallstones.
Chronic cholecystitis is more common in women than in men and in people who are overweight and over 40 years old. The most frequent symptom of this disease is intense pain in the upper right region of the abdomen, the area where the gallbladder is located. In this FastlyHealarticle, you will be able to learn more about what chronic cholecystitis consists of, its symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Causes of chronic cholecystitis
Chronic cholecystitis is a condition that results from repeated episodes of acute cholecystitis. When the gallbladder has been irritated and inflamed for a long time, its walls thicken, and the organ begins to shrink and consequently loses its ability to concentrate, store and secrete bile. Therefore, we can say that the cause of chronic cholecystitis is acute cholecystitis.
Acute cholecystitis is usually caused by the presence of gallstones that are nothing more than deposits composed of cholesterol or bilirubin that obstruct the gallbladder’s ducts through which bile travels in and out of the organ. This condition causes bile to become trapped inside the gallbladder, causing it to become irritated, inflamed, and even infected. When chronic cholecystitis derives from acute cholecystitis without the presence of gallstones, the most common causes are:
- Diabetes and HIV.
- Hormone therapy.
- Advanced age.
- Consumption of contraceptives.
- Lose weight very quickly.
Diagnosis of chronic cholecystitis
In general, when a person suffers from chronic cholecystitis, they already have a history of acute cholecystitis, which is why the doctor will constantly monitor the state of the gallbladder and will be able to determine in time when their health has begun to worsen. To assess the severity of your cholecystitis, the specialist may prescribe the following blood tests:
- Amylase and plan to rule out diseases of the pancreas.
- Complete hematology.
- Tests to check liver function.
Likewise, to check the health status of the gallbladder, the following tests can be requested:
- Abdominal ultrasound.
- CT scan of the abdomen.
- Gallbladder scan.
- Oral Cholecystography.
Symptoms of chronic cholecystitis
Chronic cholecystitis is the progression of acute cholecystitis. Therefore, the symptoms are usually the same in both conditions:
- Dull pain in the upper right region of the abdomen. The pain can also look like a cramp.
- The pain can be constant and last up to 30 minutes.
- The pain can spread to the back.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Clay-colored stools.
- Jaundice: yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Treatment of chronic cholecystitis
When acute cholecystitis becomes chronic, there is no other way to treat this condition than surgery. This operation, known as a cholecystectomy, can be performed in two ways:
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: It is the most used method. As tiny abdominal surgical incisions suggest, recovery is much faster. It can be done on an outpatient basis or with one day of hospitalization.
- Open cholecystectomy: This is done through a massive incision in the upper right region of the abdomen. Because it suggests opening the person’s stomach, recovery may take longer and be slightly more painful, as there will be more manipulation of organs and tissues.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Chronic Cholecystitis: symptoms, causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.