What Causes a Collapsed Gallbladder?

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A gallbladder may collapse due to a condition called chronic cholecystitis, which inflames and shrinks the gallbladder, according to MedlinePlus. Gallstones are a major contributing factor to repeated acute attacks of cholecystitis.

The gallbladder processes bile from the small intestine. Cholecystitis develops when gallstones begin blocking the bile tube, according to the Mayo Clinic. This blockage creates inflammation. Scarring and tumors can also create gallbladder bile blockage. When cholecystitis reaches the acute level it can cause the gallbladder to enlarge and rupture. A ruptured gallbladder is a medical emergency that requires hospital treatment.

There are numerous symptoms that may occur while experiencing a cholecystitis attack, according to the Mayo Clinic. People may experience radiating pain from the abdomen to the back or shoulder, pain in the upper right abdomen area, chills, fever, heavy sweating, nausea or vomiting. These unpleasant symptoms often occur right after a meal. Persons suffering an attack find it difficult to sit comfortably for any period of time.

Cholecystitis is commonly treated with surgery, in which there are two main options, according to MedlinePlus. The most popular option is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which is preferred because the operation is fast with quick recovery. The second option is an open cholecystectomy, which involves larger cuts to the abdomen. Both methods are considered to be low risk.