An extreme pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen that is usually caused by the gallbladder’s attempts to expel gallstones or by the movement of a stone in the bile ducts. The pain can be felt in the right shoulder or can penetrate to the centre of the back. Periods of biliary colic often last for several hours and may recur especially after meals.
Injections of an analgesic drug and antispasmodic drug can be given to relieve the colic pain. The presence of gallstones can be confirmed by tests such as ultrasound scanning, cholescystography or ERCP (a minimally invasive procedure involving the use of X-rays and a viewing tube that may be used for diagnosis and treatment).