Can a gallbladder hurt for years?

Answered by Cody Janus

It is possible for a gallbladder to hurt for years. Chronic gallbladder pain is often associated with a condition called chronic cholecystitis. This condition occurs when there is persistent inflammation in the gallbladder, which can lead to recurrent episodes of pain and other symptoms.

Chronic cholecystitis is typically the result of repeated attacks of acute cholecystitis, which is the sudden inflammation of the gallbladder. Acute cholecystitis can be caused by gallstones blocking the bile ducts, leading to the buildup of bile and subsequent inflammation. If these attacks occur frequently or if there are ongoing problems with gallbladder function, chronic cholecystitis can develop.

The symptoms of chronic cholecystitis are similar to those of acute cholecystitis, including:

1. Abdominal pain: This is the most common symptom and is typically felt in the upper right side of the abdomen. The pain can be sharp or dull and may radiate to the back or shoulder.

2. Nausea and vomiting: Some individuals with chronic cholecystitis may experience episodes of nausea and vomiting, especially after eating fatty or greasy foods.

3. Digestive issues: Chronic cholecystitis can affect the digestion of fats, leading to diarrhea or greasy stools.

4. Bloating and gas: Some people may experience bloating and increased gas production as a result of chronic cholecystitis.

5. Fever: In some cases, chronic cholecystitis may cause a low-grade fever.

It’s important to note that not everyone with chronic cholecystitis will experience these symptoms, and the severity can vary from person to person. Some individuals may only have mild discomfort, while others may have more frequent and severe pain.

If you suspect you have chronic cholecystitis or are experiencing persistent gallbladder pain, it is important to seek medical attention. Your doctor can perform a physical examination, evaluate your symptoms, and may order further tests such as ultrasound or CT scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for chronic cholecystitis typically involves the removal of the gallbladder through a procedure called cholecystectomy. This can be done through traditional open surgery or minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Removing the gallbladder is usually recommended to prevent further complications and relieve symptoms.

While it is possible for a gallbladder to hurt for years, this is often a result of chronic cholecystitis. Seeking medical attention and discussing your symptoms with a healthcare professional is essential to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.