Friday, March 02, 2007

Cholecystitis (NCLEX TOPIC)

What is it?

The inflammation of the gallbladder wall and nearby abdominal lining. The most common type of cholecystitis involves cholesterol in the bile.

What are its causes?

Usually it occurs because of gallstones. The bile is blocked and it infects the tissue.

Who is at risk?

Women, especially those over 40 and those who use birth control pills.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The patient typically experiences: (i) a colicky pain in the upper right quadrant - which can radiate into the right shoulder and back, (ii) nausea and vomiting, (iii) indigestion after eating fatty foods, (iv) jaundice - if the liver is involved or inflamed, and possibly (v) low grade fever.

How is cholecystitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis could include ERCP, ERCG and ultrasound.

What is part of the treatment process?

A patient's treatment would include a focus on rest, low-fat diet and pain control. The patient may be given Chenodiol or UDCA to dissolve cholesterol stones. A choledocholithotomy may be performed to remove or break up the stones.

Other notes

  • Cholecystitis can occur suddenly or gradually over many years.
  • A typical attack of cholecystitis usually lasts two to three days.

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