Chapter 7. Biliary Colic and Acute Cholecystitis

  1. Adam Brooks FRCS (Gen Surg), DMCC Consultant Senior Lecturer3,4,
  2. Bryan A. Cotton MD, MPH Associate Professor5,
  3. Lt Col Nigel Tai MS, FRCS (Gen Surg), RAMC Consultant Senior Lecturer4,6 and
  4. Col Peter F. Mahoney OBE, TD, MSc, FRCA, RAMC Defence Professor7
  1. Tom Palser Clinical Research Fellow1 and
  2. Mark Taylor Consultant2

Published Online: 10 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444315172.ch7

Emergency Surgery

Emergency Surgery

How to Cite

Palser, T. and Taylor, M. (2010) Biliary Colic and Acute Cholecystitis, in Emergency Surgery (eds A. Brooks, B. A. Cotton, N. Tai and P. F. Mahoney), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444315172.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Major Trauma Pathway Lead, General Surgery Service Lead, Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK

  2. 4

    Academic Department of Military Surgery and Trauma, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK

  3. 5

    Department of Surgery and the Center for Translational Injury Research, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas, USA

  4. 6

    Defence Medical Services, Trauma Clinical Academic Unit, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK

  5. 7

    RCDM Birmingham Research, Park Vincent Drive, Birmingham, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, UK

  2. 2

    Mater Hospital, Crumlin Road, Belfast, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 31 JAN 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405170253

Online ISBN: 9781444315172



  • biliary colic and acute cholecystitis;
  • acute cholecystitis, stone obstructing neck of gallbladder - and gallbladder inflamed;
  • differentiating between biliary colic and acute cholecystitis - raised inflammatory markers;
  • definitive management of gallstones - surgical removal of gallbladder or percutaneous drainage;
  • percutaneous drainage, in patients who are septic and shocked - high risk for early surgery;
  • patients with acute cholecystitis or cholangitis - extremely septic;
  • definitive treatment of gallstones and surgery;
  • patients with acute cholecystitis or cholangitis


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Clinical presentation

  • Investigations

  • Initial management

  • Surgery

  • Further reading