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Definition of Cholecystitis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder. Cholecystitis is a complication of gallstones, and it is frequently associated with infection in the gallbladder. Risk factors for cholecystitis include age, obesity, female gender, multiple pregnancies, use of birth control pills, and heredity. The most common symptom is pain in the upper abdomen, although some patients have no symptoms. Diagnosis can be made with ultrasound of the abdomen. Surgery (standard or laparoscopic) is considered for patients with severe cholecystitis. In some mild cases, medication may be used instead to treat
the infection and inflammation and to dissolve the gallstones.

Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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