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Gallstone Symptoms: When Surgery Is Needed

Topic Overview

Several conditions or situations may require surgery to remove the gallbladder. Surgery usually is needed when:

  • Your gallbladder suddenly becomes inflamed or infected (cholecystitis).
  • Gallstones cause repeated attacks of pain.
  • You have growths called polyps in the gallbladder, usually larger than 0.4 in. (1 cm), that are causing symptoms.
  • Gallstones cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
  • A nonfunctioning gallbladder is causing symptoms.
  • The gallbladder wall has calcified (porcelain gallbladder).
  • You have gallstones and an impaired immune system.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Current as of July 10, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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