Gallbladder stone: Is surgery necessary?

People have a lot of questions regarding gallbladder stones, and the most common query that they have is whether these stones must be removed by surgery or are there any other remedies as well. Before we discuss the topic, it’s important to know everything about gallstones.

Gallbladder stones

So what exactly is a gallbladder stone or polyp? Well, it’s an abnormal growth of a small tissue part that starts protruding from the lining of your gallbladder’s interior. One of the most interesting facts is that even in the modern era, with loads of medical advancements made every day, gallstones have become more common than ever. In a recent study, it has been found that more people have a tendency of developing gallstones as compared to what was the scenario even a few decades ago.

Gallbladder and its stones

Now, we assume that you already know that your gallbladder is a tiny organ located in your abdomen area. This particular organ is responsible for storing bile and passing it between the liver and the small intestine.

Interestingly, gallstones can be either cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). Well, only a small part of these stones are cancerous in nature. More than about 95 percent of gallbladder stones belong to the benign class.

Size of the gallstones

One of the most common problems people affected by gallstones face is they fail to determine whether they have a cancerous or a non-cancerous stone unless they get diagnosed. And in this case, it is worth noting that most of the time, it’s impossible to trace the growth of gallstones inside your body as many times they don’t show any early symptoms. The size of the gallbladder stone indicated whether they are cancerous or benign.

Let’s discuss the different sizes of these stones and what they indicate:

  • Small gallbladder stones: Stones that are less than 1/2 inch in diameter are generally benign in nature and, in many cases, they don’t at all require any treatment.
  • Semi-large Gallbladder stones: Gallstones that are larger than 1/2 inch in diameter have a more likelihood of becoming malignant over time.
  • Large Gallbladder stones: In contrast, gallbladder polyps that are larger than 3/4 inch pose a higher threat of being malignant.

Gallstones removal

In many cases, it becomes absolutely necessary to undergo gallbladder removal surgery as it often becomes the only remedy available for the removal of stones. However, that’s not the only way to deal with this scenario. A recent study has proved that gallbladder removal surgery is not always necessary in case of gallstone pancreatitis.

The study was conducted on above 3,700 patients who didn’t remove their gallbladder within 30 days of detection. Only about 1,200 of them got their gallbladder removed within the next six months. However, quite interestingly, nearly 2,500 patients who haven’t had their gallbladder removed within 30 days still need not undergo any surgery even four years later. This clearly shows that gallstones aren’t necessarily life-threatening. However, that again depends on its size and characteristics.

The best way to determine whether you need surgery or not is to consult your doctor at the earliest. Ask him as many questions as you want and ensure you get a thorough answer to your queries. Staying alert saves you!

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