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Gallstones (cont.)

Gallstones Prognosis

If gallstones block one of the biliary ducts, the result is inflammation and swelling of the organs "upstream" of the blocked duct.

  • This complication alone can cause symptoms and warrants treatment, possibly surgery.

  • If untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions such as infection and damage to the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.

  • If these organs sustain enough damage, they can no longer carry out their normal functions. This is a life-threatening complication.

If a patient has surgery, you should know the following:

  • A person who has had laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder may leave the hospital 12-48 hours after surgery and return to full activities within three weeks.

  • If open surgery was required to remove the gallbladder, recovery takes a little longer. The person may leave the hospital within three to seven days and could resume normal activity after a six week recovery period.

  • The most common complication of surgery is damage to the biliary tract. If bile leaks out of the biliary system, it can cause an infection.

If a person chooses not to have their gallbladder removed, it is likely you will have recurring abdominal pain and possibly complications.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Cholelithiasis »

Gallstones are concretions that form in the biliary tract, usually in the gallbladder.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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