As of 2016, treating gallbladder attacks requires hospitalization and surgery, according to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Cholecystitis, an inflammation of the gallbladder wall and abdominal lining, and gallstones are the two conditions that constitute gallbladder disease. Doctors conduct tests such as computed tomography scans, blood tests and ultrasounds to determine causes of gallbladder attacks. Treatments for painful gallstones include extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, oral drug therapy and surgery. Doctors treat inflamed gallbladders in the hospital with surgery or intravenous antibiotics and fluids.
The gallbladder stores bile, and when the bile hardens like stone, gallstones are the result, explains New York-Presbyterian Hospital. A gallstone in the connecting duct between the gallbladder and the liver duct usually causes cholecystitis. Doctors use blood tests to diagnose the presence of jaundice, an obstruction, infection or pancreatitis. Symptoms of a gallbladder attack, which may last for days, include pain or indigestion that continues for hours after eating; sudden, intense abdominal pain in the upper right side; nausea and vomiting; and pain that moves to the right shoulder when breathing deeply.
Hospital treatment for acute cholecystitis minimizes irritation and stimulation of the gallbladder, notes New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Doctors administer pain medication and antibiotics to fight infection. Surgeons may use less-invasive laproscopic procedures for gallbladder removal and biliary system restructuring. Physicians may use drug therapy to dissolve gallstones and may prescribe a low-fat diet.