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Infections and Inflammations

An infection is the condition of multiplication of parasitic organisms or microorganisms within the body. An inflammation is the reactions that occur in the affected blood vessels and adjacent tissues in response to an injury or abnormal stimulation caused by a physical, chemical, or biologic agent. Many people use the terms interchangeably since they have several symptoms in common and usually are treated similarly.

Appendicitis :: Pancreatitis :: Cholecystitis :: Peritonitis


An acute condition in which the gallbladder becomes inflamed and swollen because flow of bile into the bile duct is blocked by gallstones. The result is biliary colic with intense pain in upper right abdomen or between shoulders, indigestion, especially after fatty food, and nausea with or without vomiting. If untreated, this condition can lead to jaundice or, if the gallbladder bursts, to Peritonitis. If site of pain is as described above, and pain persists for more than 3 hours, consult your doctor.


  • Gallstones
  • Ischemia (decrease blood supply to gallbladder)
  • Secondary Infections


  • Often starts after a large fatty meal
  • Sudden, steady pain in the middle or right upper abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Fever


  • Medical History
  • Clinical examination
  • Abdominal X-ray
  • Ultrasound

Course of Illness

If untreated cholecystitis may lead to:

  • Gangrene of the gallbladder--a severe infection with destruction of tissue. Diabetics and the elderly are at highest risk
  • Cholangitis-- infection that occurs in common bile duct outside the gallbladder


  • Bowel rest (no food or drink)
  • Intravenous fluid/feeding
  • Antibiotics to combat infections. I.V. antibiotics may be used
  • Pain medications
  • Laparoscopic or Open Cholecystectomy (Surgical removal of the gallbladder)
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