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The treatment and management of gallstones may involve taking a wait-and-see approach or using medications, surgery, or other treatments as decided by you and your doctor. The exception to this approach is anyone who has gallstones larger than 3 centimeters (cm), gallbladder polyps, or is at high risk for gallbladder cancer when surgery would be performed.

Unless your gallbladder is surgically removed, gallstones may occur again.

Click on the following to learn about the treatment options for gallstones:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsSurgeryAlternative and complementary therapiesOther treatments

Revision Information

  • Adler DG, Baron TH, et al. ASGE guideline: the role of ERCP in diseases of the biliary tract and the pancreas. Gastrointest Endosc. 2005;62:1-8.

  • Ahmed A, Cheung RC, et al. Management of gallstones and their complications. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61:1673-1678.

  • Clayton ES, Connor S, et al. Meta-analysis of endoscopy and surgery versus surgery alone for common bile duct stones with the gallbladder in situ. Br J Surg. 2006;93:1185-1191.

  • Gallstones. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 23, 2013. Accessed December 5, 2013.