Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic Staff
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:
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- 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.