What is Biliary Colic?

Biliary Colic

is the pain associated with the inflammation of the gall bladder as in cholecystitis. The inflammation of the said organ is very often brought about by the problem of impending gall stones.

Colic as such refers to any pain in which starts and stops abruptly. However, the colic pain which we are talking about here starts rapidly and is intense and steady and can go on for a few hours. It at best can be decsribed as a symptom of greater problems with the gall bladder.

What causes Cholecystitis and Biliary Colic?

Calcified deposits in the gall bladder can form into gall stones. These gall stones may travel down and cause obstruction in the common bile duct or any other cystic duct. The retention of the bile acids in the gallbladder or the bile ducts can have a necrotizing effect on the organs concerned. The resulting infection in the gall bladder causes inflammation or cholecystitis.

The pain may also be due to functional disorders of the biliary tract. Post Cholecystectomy ( gall bladder removal) it can be found in certain patients with malformed biliary tree (the network of vessels carrying bile) and sphincter of oddi ( the muscular valve which controls the release of bile and pancreatic juices into the small intestine).

Symptoms of the Condition

  • Intense pain in the upper right abdominal quadrant.
  • Pain in the right flank.
  • Chest pain.
  • Pain radiating to the back and shoulders.
  • Pain is more right after eating.
  • Fatty foods may garner an adverse reponse as compared to normal food.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

Treatment of Biliary Colic

  • The line of treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition.
  • In case of gall stones, it becomes essential to surgically remove the gall bladder. Minimally invasive procedures like laproscopy are very popular in this kind of situations. Humans adjust well to the loss of gall bladder. It does not affect the quality of life.
  • Pain without the presence of gall stones is usually treated with (NSAIDs) such as ketorolac (Toradol), Diclofenac (Voltaren). Analgesics are an extremely popular option of treating the condition.

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