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The treatment and management of gallstones may involve taking a wait-and-see approach or using medications, surgery, or other treatments as decided by you and your doctor. The exception to this approach is anyone who has gallstones larger than 3 centimeters (cm), gallbladder polyps, or is at high risk for gallbladder cancer when surgery would be performed.

Unless your gallbladder is surgically removed, gallstones may occur again.

Gallstone treatment includes:

Lifestyle changes
Medications
Surgery
Alternative and complementary therapies
Other treatments

References:

Gallstones. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/gallstones. Accessed September 1, 2017.

Gallstones. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114033/Gallstones. Updated July 22, 2016. Accessed September 1, 2017.

Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digesrive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gallstones. Updated November 2013. Accessed September 1, 2017.

McVeigh G, Dobinson Evans E, Dwerryhouse S, et al. Gallstone disease: diagnosis and management. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg188/chapter/Introduction. Updated October 2014.

Portincasa P, Di Ciaula A, de Bari O, Garruti G, Palmieri VO, Wang DQ. Management of gallstones and its related complications. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;10(1):93-112.



Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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