Cholecystitis and Perioperative Care Essay

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Cholecystitis and Perioperative Care
Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small pear- shaped sac located on the right underside of the liver. The gallbladder’s function is to store digestive bile, which is continuously produced by the liver. Bile assists in the digestion of fats and absorption of certain vitamins. A healthy gallbladder empties when fatty foods enter the duodenum to aid in breaking down large fat particles into smaller ones. In most cases, cholecystitis is caused by a blockage or a stone in the gallbladder. “About 90 % of cholecystitis is caused by gallstones, often found blocking the cystic duct” (Baldwin 2008). Bile becomes trapped in the gallbladder and
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Cholecystitis symptoms usually occur after a meal that is high in fat content. Other classic signs of inflammation are low grade fevers, chills and abdominal distention. Studies show that “about 40% of patients have gallstones that are discovered during testing for other conditions (Baldwin 2008).” “Gallstones should only be treated if they cause symptoms” (Harvard Women's Health Watch 2011). Chronic cholecystitis is caused by repeated attacks of acute cholecystitis. This leads to the thickening of the gallbladder wall and a decrease in motility. Cholecystitis can cause a number of complications. Gallbladder distention leads to the buildup of bile and cause pain. Once the bile has built up, it may become infected. Untreated cholecystitis can cause tissue death or perforation. Infection is a serious complication in cholecystitis. This condition can become life-threatening and spread to other parts of the body. Diagnosing cholecystitis involves a thorough physical exam and blood tests. White blood count is usually high, which indicates infection. High bilirubin levels, alkaline phosphatase and liver enzymes will also increase. Computerized tomography (CT) can be used to reveal signs of cholecystitis but “ultrasound is considered the primary imaging method for most gallbladder and ductal disease” (Baldwin 2008). Another test used in confirming a diagnosis for cholecystitis is a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid scan (HIDA).
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