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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.

Click on the following to learn about the treatment options for gallstones:

Lifestyle changes
Medications
Surgery
Alternative and complementary therapies
Other treatments

References:

Adler DG, Baron TH, et al. ASGE guideline: the role of ERCP in diseases of the biliary tract and the pancreas. Gastrointest Endosc. 2005;62:1-8.

Ahmed A, Cheung RC, et al. Management of gallstones and their complications. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61:1673-1678.

Clayton ES, Connor S, et al. Meta-analysis of endoscopy and surgery versus surgery alone for common bile duct stones with the gallbladder in situ. Br J Surg. 2006;93:1185-1191.

Gallstones. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 23, 2013. Accessed December 5, 2013.



Last reviewed December 2013 by Michael Woods, MD

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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