Complications of Gallbladder Disease

Having a gallbladder is an important part of living a healthy life. However, there are some complications you should be aware of if you have this organ. These complications can include acute cholecystitis, which causes inflammation in the gallbladder. It can also lead to bleeding. If you have acute cholecystitis, it is important to see a physician as soon as possible. The doctor will be able to determine if you need a procedure to remove your gallbladder or not.

Symptoms of acute cholecystitis

Symptoms of acute cholecystitis include severe abdominal pain that is located in the mid or right upper quadrant of the abdomen. The pain is often accompanied by fever and chills. If the symptoms last for more than a few hours, you should seek medical attention. You may need to go to the hospital or be admitted. Depending on your condition, you may need surgery to remove the gallbladder.

The first test for cholecystitis is an abdominal ultrasound. This procedure uses sound waves to produce pictures of the gallbladder and the small intestine. It may also show a palpable mass in the abdominal wall. This can indicate a secondary infection. If the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics may be prescribed. Antibiotics may be given for up to a week.

Another test for cholecystitis involves a CT scan. This procedure creates pictures of the gallbladder, the small intestine, and the liver. The doctor may also check the white blood cell count. High levels of alkaline phosphate and bilirubin may indicate an infection.

Cholecystitis is caused by a buildup of bile in the gallbladder. It normally drains into the small intestine, but in some cases, gallstones block the flow of bile. The bile accumulates and causes inflammation and irritation. If it is not treated, the pain and irritation will worsen. It may also lead to infection, which can lead to tissue death.

If you have severe abdominal pain that lasts for more than a few hours, you need to see your GP. You should also contact your local out-of-hours service. If you have abdominal pain that is accompanied by fever, chills, or a headache, you should also seek medical attention.

In addition to pain, you may experience vomiting, nausea, and epigastric pain. You may also experience abdominal cramping after eating. Acute cholecystitis is a very serious medical condition, and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Gallstones are very common, and most people are asymptomatic. However, if you have a family history of gallstones, or you have diabetes, you may be at increased risk.


Having a gallbladder diagnosis can be a confusing process. Whether it’s for a simple gallstone or gallbladder cancer, the first step is getting an evaluation by a family doctor. They’ll ask you about your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and may order tests to determine the cause of your problem.

A diagnostic procedure that uses a lighted tube and a transducer to make detailed images of your gallbladder is called endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). It’s a relatively inexpensive, minimally invasive procedure that helps doctors diagnose gallbladder anomalies.

A more comprehensive diagnosis can be made using magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). This test uses special x-ray equipment to produce 3-D images of the liver and bile ducts. It also provides detailed information about the pancreas and the gallbladder.

If your doctor believes that you have gallbladder cancer, they may also order tests to determine the stage of cancer. They can also test your blood for substances called tumor markers. These can help them determine whether you’re responding well to cancer treatment.

Gallbladder disease is relatively common. It affects about 15% of the adult population. It can cause pain, swelling, and a blockage of the gallbladder’s drainage. In severe cases, the gallbladder may rupture or become infected. It can also cause biliary colic, which is a bowel upset that can be caused by an obstruction in the bile ducts.

In some cases, physicians may need to use a procedure called percutaneous cholecystostomy to remove the gallbladder. This is a minimally invasive procedure performed by a radiologist using ultrasound guidance. A tube is placed in the bile duct and left for several weeks. If gallbladder cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be performed during the procedure.

If you’re suffering from chronic cholecystitis, your doctor may recommend laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder. This procedure is performed using an endoscope, which passes through a small incision in the belly. If you’ve had recent abdominal surgery, your doctor may ask you to avoid ingesting food for several days. Your doctor may also ask about your family’s history of gallbladder cancer.


Various types of treatment are available for gallbladder cancer. These treatments are based on the type of cancer and the patient’s overall health. The treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. Depending on the stage of cancer, a patient may also be offered palliative treatment to improve the quality of life.

Treatment may also involve imaging tests to help confirm the diagnosis. These tests include abdominal ultrasound, CT, and MRI. Abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to examine the gallbladder.

CT is another imaging test that uses multiple layers of x-rays to create detailed pictures of the inside of the body. The most common finding is a collection of fluid in the gallbladder. A follow-up CT will usually show normal gallbladder wall thickness and capacity.

A biopsy may be done to remove cancer cells from the gallbladder. This procedure is usually done after surgery to remove a tumor. A microscope may be used to view the margin of tissue removed. If the margin is positive, it means there are cancer cells on the edge of the tissue removed during surgery. If the margin is negative, there are no cancer cells on the edge of the tissue removed.

A combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is also used for gallbladder cancer. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. The side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue, loose bowel movements, or upset stomach. Some patients may experience mild skin reactions, as well.

Patients can also enter clinical trials to test new medications. Clinical trials are a good way for patients with gallbladder cancer to learn more about treatment options, and to help improve their quality of life. The NCI offers a search tool that allows patients to search for clinical trials by location, type of cancer, or age. It also offers information about ongoing clinical trials.

Patients with gallbladder cancer can also enter clinical trials during treatment. These trials may involve tests for new drugs, or testing a new combination of standard medications.


Often, complications of gallbladder disease can sneak up on you. If not properly treated, complications can be life-threatening. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately. There are treatment options available for most types of gallbladder disease. These options include surgery, antibiotics, and ERCP.

Cholecystitis is one of the most common complications of gallbladder disease. It occurs when gallstones obstruct the flow of bile. Typically, the gallstones erode into the bile duct, which causes symptoms of pain. Other symptoms of cholecystitis include fever, achy abdominal pain, and nausea.

Infection is also a possible cause of cholecystitis. If you have a fever, a complete blood count, and high levels of alkaline phosphate, bilirubin, and serum aminotransferase, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics may also be used to treat mild inflammation.

Cholecystitis can be treated with antibiotics and pain relievers. However, if you do not respond to this treatment, your doctor may recommend surgical removal of the gallbladder. Depending on your health conditions, your doctor may recommend an outpatient procedure, such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Or, you may require a hospital stay for observation.

Gallbladder complications can also be caused by a perforation. In this case, the gallbladder distends, causing pain, nausea, and fever. Perforation can lead to infection, sepsis, and tissue death. If this occurs, your doctor may recommend an endoscope to drain the gallbladder and check for infections.

Symptoms of gallbladder disease are often worse after eating a meal. However, pain can also occur without food. Gallstones are the primary cause of inflammation of the gallbladder. If you have gallstones, they can cause jaundice. If you have an ERCP, your doctor may use radio waves to check for gallstones. X-rays can also be used. However, plain X-rays are not very accurate at detecting inflammation of the gallbladder.

If you have an ERCP or EUS, your doctor may find a tumor in your gallbladder. They may also find gallstones or other problems with your gallbladder. They will recommend surgery for severe cases.

If you are experiencing symptoms of cholecystitis, seek medical help immediately. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history and any other symptoms you are experiencing.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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