Cholecystitis is a painful condition caused by an inflamed gallbladder. The most common cause is gallstones.

What is cholecystitis?

Cholecystitis means inflammation of the gallbladder. Most cases are caused by gallstones. Women are affected more often than men. If you have cholecystitis you will normally be admitted to hospital for treatment with painkillers and fluids (and sometimes antibiotic medicines) passed directly into a vein.

The inflammation may settle down with treatment. However, surgical removal of the gallbladder is usually advised to prevent further bouts of cholecystitis.

Where is the gallbladder and what is bile?

The gallbladder is in the tummy (abdomen) and sits on the right-hand side, under the liver. Bile is a fluid which is made in the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. It helps our bodies digest food - especially fatty foods.

Read more about the gallbladder and bile.

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Dr Nick Imm
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Document ID:
4893 (v42)
Last Checked:
03 October 2016
Next Review:
03 October 2019

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.