Cholangitis (say "koh-lan-JY-tus") is an infection in the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and the small intestine. The gallbladder stores bile, which helps the body digest food. Sometimes a gallstone gets stuck in the tubes, and bile cannot get out. This can lead to an infection. If the infection is not treated, it may damage your liver or spread through your blood vessels. Other problems also can cause a blockage of the bile tubes and lead to cholangitis.
You will take antibiotics to treat the infection. You may also need a special test to look for and remove a gallstone stuck in the bile tubes. When the infection is gone, you may need surgery to take out your gallbladder. This will prevent more gallstones and another infection.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 28, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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