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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
Last Revised July 10, 2013

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