DC complains about pain in the upper right quadrant, which contains the liver and the gallbladder; identifying the section of the abdomen in which pain occurs is one of the ways for health care providers to recognize if serious medical attention is needed and what the diagnosis may be (Marks, 2017). The patient’s symptoms, including feeling “gassy” and bloated and the spread of the pain into her back, qualify for the differential diagnosis of cholelithiasis, biliary colic, and cholecystitis. According to McCance and Huether (2014), the pathological processes involved are the formation of gallstones, the blocking of the bile duct with a gallstone, and the inflammation of the gallbladder respectively.
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However, the physician may opt for primarily administering an ECG to test if the patient has experienced a myocardial infarction; in some cases, pain in the upper part of the abdomen is a symptom of a heart attack, while there is no chest pain (Kirchberger, Heier, Wende, von Scheidt, & Meisinger, 2012). Further, necessary tests include blood tests that can reveal the signs of cholelithiasis or cholecystitis and image tests, such as CT and ultrasound scanning, that can show if the gallbladder is inflamed and if there are gallstones.
The intervention that is most likely to be needed is the removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). This is a standard operation, and the risk of complications during it or during the recovery period is not high. In case gallstones are detected, treatment will include breaking them up with ultrasonic waves or removing them surgically. In either case, medications will not be an essential component of treatment; however, some drugs can be prescribed for dissolving cholesterol gallstones in case they are detected.
Kirchberger, I., Heier, M., Wende, R., von Scheidt, W., & Meisinger, C. (2012). The patient’s interpretation of myocardial infarction symptoms and its role in the decision process to seek treatment: The MONICA/KORA myocardial infarction registry. Clinical Research in Cardiology, 101(11), 909-916.
Marks, J. W. (2017). Abdominal pain (causes, remedies, treatment). Web.
McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2014). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.