William Yi, MD, General Surgeon
The most common symptom of gallbladder disease is pain, called biliary colic, which occurs in the upper abdomen, near the rib cage. They include:
- This kind of gallbladder attack is sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- The attacks may be triggered by large or fatty meals, often waking patients up during the night.
- They may occur frequently, but not more than once a week.
The symptoms of acute cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation) are similar to biliary colic but more painful and longer lasting. They include:
- Pain in the upper right or mid abdomen that is severe and constant. It may last for days. Pain frequently increases when drawing a breath.
- Pain may also radiate to the back or occur under the shoulder blades, behind the breastbone or on the left side.
- About a third of patients have fever and chills.
- Nausea and vomiting may occur.
If you experience any symptoms of gallbladder problems, contact your physician immediately for diagnosis and treatment.