Gallbladder Inflammation

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Gallbladder Inflammation
Gallbladder Inflammation
Video: Gallbladder Inflammation
Video: Pain Caused by Gallbladder Inflammation 2023, February
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Inflammation of the gallbladder

Inflammation of the gallbladder, or more precisely the gallbladder wall, is also known as cholecystitis. If the biliary tract is affected, it is called cholangitis. Gallstones are a common cause of this.

Inflamed biliary tract and the inflamed gallbladder are complications of gallstones. They can have serious consequences and require immediate medical treatment.

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  • What are the symptoms?
  • What complications can arise?
  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How is the treatment carried out?
  • Shrink gallbladder and porcelain gallbladder
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What are the symptoms?

An acute gallbladder inflammation, for example, makes itself felt

  • Pain: increasing severe pain in the right upper abdomen, severe persistent pain attacks, pain that can radiate towards the back, between shoulder blades and right shoulder,
  • fever, nausea and nausea can also occur.

An inflammation of the bile ducts seen, for example by:

  • severe cramp-like pain (biliary colic),
  • Jaundice (jaundice),
  • high fever with chills.

Both an inflamed gallbladder and an inflamed biliary tract can occur both acutely and chronically. Gallstones are often the cause of the inflammation. In rare cases, however, gallbladder inflammation can also occur for other reasons, e.g. after severe injuries, burns, with sepsis, with various serious illnesses.

What complications can arise?

Both acute gallbladder inflammation and acute inflammation of the biliary tract are potential complications with gallstones. If not treated, a life-threatening situation can arise.

  • In the case of gallbladder inflammation, this occurs, for example:

    • By perforating (“breaking through”) the gallbladder. This can spread bile and germs and lead to peritonitis. This can have life-threatening consequences.
    • If bacteria get into the blood, this can be life-threatening (sepsis).
    • In addition, fistulas can form in adjacent organs (e.g. intestines). A gallstone can enter the intestine through this and lead to an intestinal obstruction (gallstone ileus), which can also lead to a life-threatening situation.

An inflammation of the bile ducts can cause serious health (life-threatening) problems may - in case of complete biliary obstruction to poisoning to septic shock

How is the diagnosis made?

As part of the diagnosis, anamnesis and various examinations are carried out. Characteristic symptoms such as pain provide clues. For example:

  • Physical exams (e.g. Murphy's sign),
  • Laboratory tests (e.g. inflammation values, liver values),
  • Ultrasound (sonography),
  • further examinations may be necessary under certain circumstances, e.g. CT, MRCT, EUS (endoscopic ultrasound), cholescintigraphy / biliary scintigraphy (e.g. HIDA), ERC (endoscopic retrograde cholangiography) or ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography).

How is the treatment carried out?

If an acute gallbladder inflammation is diagnosed, surgery is usually carried out quickly if possible. Surgical removal of the gallbladder is often carried out within 24 hours of inpatient admission to a maximum of approx. Three days after the onset of symptoms, depending on the patient's condition. The possible advantages include fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and minimally invasive surgery ("keyhole surgery"). Antibiotics and pain relievers are also given.

If the bile ducts become inflamed, the stones are removed immediately to prevent the inflammation from spreading throughout the body. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) can be used for this. To learn more about ERC, see Gallstones: Diagnosis.

It may also be necessary to drain the gallbladder.

Shrink gallbladder and porcelain gallbladder

Chronic inflammation can lead to changes in the gallbladder, such as its size. This is known as a "shrink gallbladder". Chronic inflammation or gallbladder hydrops (accumulation of fluid) can also lead to a porcelain gallbladder. In this case, the gallbladder wall is thickened and hardened due to calcification. A porcelain gallbladder is surgically removed (cholecystectomy) because it may be associated with the development of gallbladder cancer.

Whom can I ask?

Contact points are:

  • General practitioner
  • Specialist in internal medicine (gastroenterology and hepatology)
  • Specialist in surgery

Note Symptoms are sometimes difficult to classify for those affected. In the event of symptoms (e.g. pain, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, fever, blood in the stool), medical help should be sought immediately. In the event of (increasingly) severe pain, rapid deterioration in the general condition, shortness of breath, accelerated breathing, drop in blood pressure, etc., medical help must be called immediately (emergency number 144!).

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Rehabilitation & cure
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ

and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

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