Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder. Cholecystitis is a complication of gallstones, and it is frequently associated with infection in the gallbladder. Risk factors for cholecystitis include age, obesity, female gender, multiple pregnancies, use of birth control pills, and heredity. The most common symptom is pain in the upper abdomen, although some patients have no symptoms. Diagnosis can be made with ultrasound of the abdomen. Surgery (standard or laparoscopic) is considered for patients with severe cholecystitis. In some mild cases, medication may be used instead to treat
the infection and inflammation and to dissolve the gallstones.
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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016