What is the treatment for multiple gallbladder polyps?

Doctor's Answers 1

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Dr Stephen Chang

General Surgeon

Gallbladder polyp is a common finding on abdominal imaging such as ultrasonography.

Most of these polyps are not cancerous and only a small proportion of these polyps will progress to cancer.

Unfortunately, it is rarely curable and prognosis is poor with less than 5% of patients with confirmed gallbladder cancer surviving more than 5 years [1].

Thus it is important to decide which gallbladder polyps should be treated. The most accepted guideline now is for gallbladder polyps that are more than 10mm to be removed.

In some studies, other qualifying features for treatment include:

  • age
  • Indian ethnicity
  • flat looking polyps
  • polyps occurring in people with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

Treatment of Gallbladder Polyps

Treatment of gallbladder polyps entails removing the gallbladder through a procedure— cholecystectomy.

This is usually done nowadays through the laparoscopic approach (key-hole surgery).

In my own practice, a single keyhole 'hidden' at the umbilicus is sufficient to remove the gallbladder
leaving no 'unnatural' scar.

In addition, in my own practice, I will usually remove the cystic duct lymph node during the same procedure to allow a better assessment of the stage of disease in case the polyp is confirmed to be cancerous.


1. Hundal R et al. Gallbladder cancer: epidemiology and outcome. Clin
Epidemiol 2014: 6:99-109.

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Answered By

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How will a gallbladder removal affect my bowel habits?

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Photo of Dr Stephen Chang

Answered By

Dr Stephen Chang

General Surgeon

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