Make an appointment with your doctor if you have signs or symptoms that worry you. If your doctor suspects you have cholecystitis, he or she may either refer you to a doctor who specializes in the digestive system (gastroenterologist) or send you to a hospital.
Here's information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
- Be aware of pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember the information you get.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For cholecystitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Is cholecystitis the likely cause of my abdominal pain?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- Do I need gallbladder removal surgery?
- How soon do I need surgery?
- What are the risks of surgery?
- How long does it take to recover from gallbladder surgery?
- Are there other treatment options for cholecystitis?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
Aug. 28, 2014
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have you had pain similar to this before?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Zakko SF, et al. Acute cholecystitis: Pathogenesis, clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2014.
- Vollmer CM, et al. Treatment of acute calculous cholecystitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2014.
- Acute cholecystitis: Gallbladder and bile duct disease. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic_and_biliary_disorders/gallbladder_and_bile_duct_disorders/acute_cholecystitis.html?qt=cholecystitis&alt=sh 2011. Accessed July 2, 2014.
- Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gallstones/index.aspx. Accessed July 1, 2014.
- Malladi P, et al. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 2, 2014.