Cholecystitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention

 Cholecystitis is the condition of the inflamed gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that resides under the liver. It stores a digestive juice known as bile. Bile consists of various chemicals. The main pigment in bile is bilirubin. When the quantity of bilirubin increases in the bile, gallstones can form.

When a gallstone is stuck at the opening of the gallbladder, it can lead to cholecystitis. Cholecystitis can also lead to:

  • Perforation of the gallbladder
  • Tissue death
  • Fibrosis
  • Shrinking of the gallbladder
  • Secondary bacterial infections.


gall bladder in a 3D representation of human body

The primary reason for cholecystitis is the trapping of gallstones at the opening of the gallbladder. The following factors increase the risk of developing gallstones –

  • Genetic factors
  • Diabetes
  • Losing weight rapidly
  • Obesity
  • Old age
  • Pregnancy

The other reasons for cholecystitis could be-

  • Shock
  • Immune deficiency
  • Injury to the abdomen from burns or trauma
  • Fasting for very long


Symptoms for cholecystitis

The most common signs and symptoms of cholecystitis include pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen. You may also suffer from fever and your white blood cell count will be high. The other symptoms which you might have are-

  • No appetite
  • Tenderness on the upper-right hand side of the abdomen
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Feeling of nausea

If someone is suffering from acute cholecystitis, the pain starts out of the blue and persists. The condition intensifies if left untreated and you continue to breathing in deeply.


  • A tube or channel, known as fistula, can develop between the gallbladder and duodenum. This happens when a large stone erodes the wall of the gallbladder.
  • A gallbladder may get stretched or swollen due to excessive bile accumulation. This is known as gallbladder distention. The risk of tear, infection or tissue death is much higher in this case.
  • The tissue of the gallbladder can also die which can lead to gangrene. This makes the risk of perforation higher.


The gallbladder can get inflamed if a gallstone has become large enough which doesn’t allow the bile to be drained. In cases like this, the doctor can ask you for the removal of the gallbladder. There are two ways for the surgery-

  • Conservative “Open” surgery– In this type of surgery, a large cut is made by the surgeon in the abdomen. People undergoing open surgery require a longer hospital stay and recovery time.
  • Laparoscopic Treatment– This is highly recommended by the doctor for treating gallstones. With a laparoscopic procedure, a small incision is made. A small laparoscope is inserted from the incision. This helps the doctor to see inside.

Also Read: Gallbladder Surgery Recovery Tips

Advantages of laparoscopic surgery-

  • Reduced risk of bleeding

During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions in the abdomen. These allow the surgeon to insert the laparoscope, small surgical tools, and a tube used to pump gas into the abdomen. It also lets the doctor look inside and operate easily. The size of the incision size is so small that the large incision made for open surgery reduces the risk of bleeding.

  • The less painful healing process

Patients take a longer time to recover after traditional surgery. With laparoscopic surgery, the post-surgical wound is much smaller and properly bandaged with abdominal sutures. This ensures that the healing process is much less painful.

  • Reduced chances of scarring

A surgeon has to cut a patient’s belly for 6-12 inches long during traditional surgeries. Therefore, the doctors can see inside the abdominal or pelvic cavity and operate. There is a high risk of infection in the scar tissue in overweight or obese patients. The risk increases if the surgical wound is larger.

  • Reduced risk of infection

The risk of postoperative infection is minimal in laparoscopic surgery. In addition to, there is the least exposure of internal organs to external contaminants. Laparoscopic surgeries are day-care procedures. They can return to their daily activities much more quickly.


Diet after surgery

Lower risk of developing gallstones can reduce the chance of developing cholecystitis. Therefore, you can do so by following the precautions mentioned below:

  • Avoid saturated fats
  • Keep a regular breakfast, lunch and dinner times
  • Avoid skipping meals
  • Exercise daily for at least half an hour
  • Avoid rapid loss of weight

High consumption of junk food leads to an increase in cholesterol levels. This is the main reason for the development of gallstones in obese people. Our doctors use the most advanced laparoscopic technology which ensures a seamless surgical experience to our patients. Take proper care of your health and diet. Keep an active and fit lifestyle in order to minimise the risk of such diseases and other complications.

Also Read: Gallstone Size Chart And Associated Risks of Gallbladder Cancer

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