How do you treat acute cholecystitis?

The treatment of acute cholecystitis typically involves a combination of medical interventions and, in most cases, surgical removal of the gallbladder. The specific approach may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual patient’s circumstances. Here are the main treatment options:

  1. Non-surgical treatment:

a. NPO and intravenous fluids: To rest the gallbladder and prevent complications, the patient may be asked not to eat or drink anything and receive fluids through an intravenous line.

b. Pain management: Medications such as analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve pain and inflammation.

c. Antibiotics: If there are signs of infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to fight the infection.

d. Observation: In some cases, if the symptoms are mild and there are no signs of complications, the healthcare provider may choose to observe the patient closely without immediate surgical intervention. This approach is more common in elderly patients or those with significant comorbidities who may not be suitable candidates for surgery.

  1. Surgical treatment:

a. Cholecystectomy: The most definitive treatment for acute cholecystitis is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. This can be done either through open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the preferred method as it is minimally invasive, involving smaller incisions and a faster recovery time. In some cases, if there are complications such as severe inflammation or abscess formation, an open cholecystectomy may be necessary.

b. Percutaneous cholecystostomy: In rare cases where surgery is not immediately possible, a percutaneous cholecystostomy may be performed. This involves inserting a drainage tube through the skin and into the gallbladder to drain the accumulated fluid and relieve the pressure. This is a temporary measure and is usually followed by cholecystectomy once the patient’s condition stabilizes.

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The decision on the most appropriate treatment approach is made by the healthcare provider based on factors such as the patient’s overall health, the severity of symptoms, the presence of complications, and individual considerations. It’s important to consult with a medical professional to determine the best course of action in your specific case.