Your doctor will perform a physical examination to identify cholecystis in addition to talking with you about your symptoms and medical background. The following tests and techniques are used to identify cholecystitis:

  • Blood tests. Blood tests may be requested by your doctor in order to evaluate for infections or gallbladder issues.
  • Imaging tests. Images of your gallbladder and bile ducts can be produced using abdominal ultrasound, endoscopic ultrasound, Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, or Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). These images can demonstrate symptoms of gallbladder and bile duct stones or cholecystitis.
  • A scan that shows the movement of bile through your body.  A hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan of the liver and bile ducts monitors the generation and movement of bile from the liver to the small intestine. An intravenous injection of a radioactive tracer that adheres to bile-producing cells is required for a HIDA scan. The dye can be seen during the scan as it moves through the bile ducts with the bile. This can reveal any obstructions.


Cholecystitis usually needs to be treated in hospital as well as intravenous antibiotic to control infection. Sometime, surgery may be required Your healthcare professional will work up to plan for further management while you’re in the hospital. Treatments could consist of:

  • Fasting. Initially, you might not be allowed to eat or drink anything to relieve the pressure on your inflamed gallbladder.
  • Intravenous fluids. Dehydration will be addressed through this intervention.
  • Antibiotics. In the event that your gallbladder is infected, your doctor will suggest antibiotics.
  • Pain medications. These can aid in pain management while your gallbladder is still inflamed.
  • Procedure to remove stones. An Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) may be performed on you. Instruments can be used to remove stones obstructing the bile ducts or cystic duct during this operation that highlights the bile ducts with dye.
  • Gallbladder drainage. Gallbladder drainage (cholecystostomy) may be performed in some circumstances, such as when surgery to remove the gallbladder is not an option, to clear infection. Drainage is carried out either by putting a scope via the mouth (endoscopic) or through the skin of the belly (percutaneous).

Your symptoms should become better in two to three days. The doctor may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder if the cholecystitis keeps recurring.

Gallbladder removal surgery

Cholecystectomy refers to the surgical surgery used to remove the gallbladder. Typically, this is a minimally invasive surgery that only requires a few small abdominal incisions (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). An open operation may be necessary, which involves making a lengthy incision in your abdomen.

Your symptom severity and total risk of complications during and after surgery will determine whether you should have surgery or not. If your risk for surgery is low, surgery might be done while you are admitted in the hospital.

After your gallbladder is removed, bile no longer needs to be stored in your gallbladder and instead flows directly from your liver into your small intestine which helps in food digestion even when the gallbladder is not functioning.