Surgical Conditions  

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 :: Hepatitis :: Cholecystitis
Oesophagitis :: Peritonitis

Cholecystitis

An acute condition in which the gall bladder becomes inflamed and swollen because
flow of bile into duodenum is blocked by Gallstones; result is biliary colic - intense
pain in upper right abdomen or between shoulders, Indigestion, especially after fatty
food, and Nausea with or without vomiting; untreated, condition can lead to Jaundice
and occasionally, if gall bladder bursts, to Peritonitis. If site of pain is as described
above, and pain persists for more than 3 hours, consult your doctor if there is no
improvement in 2 hours.

Causes

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

Symptoms

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

Diagnoses

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

Course of illness

If untreated cholecystitis may lead to

  • gangrene in the gallbladder may occur. This is 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

Treatment

  • Bowel rest (no food or drink)
  • Intravenous fluid/feeding
  • Antibiotics to combat Infections. I.V. antibiotics may be used.
  • Pain medications
  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, Surgical removal of the gallbladder
    2-3 days after cholecystitis for most patients

What you should do?

Go to the Hospital emergency or call the local emergency number (such
as 000, for Australia) if you have symptoms that may indicate peritonitis,
as it is a medical emergency.


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