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Cholecystitis - chronic
For symptoms of acute cholecystitis, see: Acute cholecystitis.
Acute cholecystitis is a painful condition that leads to chronic cholecystitis. It is not clear whether chronic cholecystitis causes any symptoms.
Exams and Tests
Your health care provider may order the following blood tests:
- Amylase and lipase -- to diagnose diseases of the pancreas
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Liver function tests -- to evaluate how well the liver is working
Tests that reveal gallstones or inflammation in the gallbladder include:
Surgery is the most common treatment. Surgery to remove the gallbladder is called cholecystectomy.
- Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is most often done. This surgery uses smaller surgical cuts, which result in a faster recovery. Patients are often sent home from the hospital on the same day as surgery, or the next morning.
- Open cholecystectomy requires a larger cut in the upper-right part of the abdomen.
In patients who are too ill to have surgery because of other diseases or conditions, the gallstones may be dissolved with medication taken by mouth. However, this may take 2 years or longer to work. The stones may return after treatment.
Cholecystectomy is a common procedure with a low risk.
- Cancer of the gallbladder (rarely)
- Worsening of the condition
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Wang DQH, Afdhal NH. Gallstone disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 65.
Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.