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 1 cm (0.4 in.), that are causing symptoms.
  • Gallstones cause inflammation of the pancreas ( pancreatitis ).
  • A non-functioning gallbladder is causing symptoms.
  • The gallbladder wall has calcified (porcelain gallbladder).
  • You have gallstones and an impaired immune system .


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014