Could Your Pain Be Due to Cholecystitis?

Could Your Pain Be Due to Cholecystitis?

There’s nothing more frustrating than experiencing pain and not knowing the cause. If you’ve been experiencing acute or chronic abdominal pain or pain that moves to your shoulder or worsens when you take a deep breath, it could be cholecystitis, or an inflamed gallbladder.  

At MIB Surgery in Plantation, Florida, board-certified surgeon Abel Bello, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating different types of gallbladder disease — including cholecystitis. If you want to get to the bottom of your pain, keep reading to learn whether an inflamed gallbladder could be the cause. 

What is cholecystitis?

Your gallbladder works hand-in-hand with your liver. The small, pear-shaped organ receives bile from the liver and stores it for later use when you eat foods that require extra bile. In a healthy gallbladder, the bile drains from the organ directly into your small intestines. 

When you have cholecystitis, your gallbladder becomes inflamed, and the bile cannot exit the organ. As a result, you experience increasing inflammation in the small organ, and you may even develop an infection. 

Cholecystitis can be either acute or chronic. 

What causes cholecystitis?

The most common cause of cholecystitis is gallstones. These hardened deposits of digestive substances can be as big as a ping pong or golf ball or as tiny as a grain of sand. Some gallstones are made up of bilirubin, a substance the liver makes, and others are made of cholesterol. 

Sometimes gallstones pass without issue, and other times they stay in the gallbladder but don’t cause any symptoms. When the gallstones get stuck in the ducts that lead to the small intestine, however, they prevent bile from leaving your gallbladder. If the bile can’t leave your gallbladder, the organ swells and becomes inflamed, and cholecystitis results. 

Gallstones aren’t the only cause of cholecystitis. Other causes of the condition are less common and may include:

Without medical treatment, an inflamed gallbladder can lead to a life-threatening infection, so if you suspect cholecystitis, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with our team.   

Is my pain because of cholecystitis?

The best way to learn if your pain is related to cholecystitis is to schedule an appointment with your medical provider. Your medical team reviews your history and orders special tests to look at the condition of your gallbladder and to see if there’s a blockage. 

Your pain may be due to cholecystitis if you have the following signs or symptoms:

If you experience acute cholecystitis, the pain will come on suddenly and be very intense. These gallbladder attacks can last for days and typically don’t go away on their own. 

Without treatment, you may develop chronic cholecystitis, or repeat gallbladder attacks. That condition can damage your gallbladder and increases your risk of developing a bacterial infection. 

Can cholecystitis be treated?

Yes! Sometimes medications are used to help with cholecystitis, but in most cases, the best treatment is surgical removal of the gallbladder, or a cholecystectomy. At MIB Surgery, Dr. Bello uses minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques and tools to perform the procedure. 

Depending on your needs, Dr. Bello may perform the surgery manually or with the da Vinci® surgical system, which uses surgeon-controlled robotic arms for a greater range of motion and a higher degree of precision.  

Both types of surgery involve small incisions and a laparoscope with a light and camera that allows Dr. Bello an up-close look at the gallbladder and surrounding structures. Because laparoscopic surgery requires only small incisions and causes less trauma, you’ll have a faster recovery with less pain and minimal bleeding compared to traditional alternatives.

Don’t wait to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bello at MIB Surgery if you’re worried about cholecystitis. Contact our Plantation, Florida, or request an appointment using our online booking tool at your convenience. 

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