What causes gallstones?
The gallbladder is a small organ under your liver that stores bile made by the liver. Gallstones are lumps of solid material that form in your gallbladder. Gallstones are made when the digestive juice called bile gets hard and stone-like. In some cases, gallstones block the tubes that carry bile, which can lead to a life-threatening infection of the bile ducts, pancreas or liver.
If you don't have any gallstones symptoms, you often don't need treatment. Gallstones that do cause symptoms should be treated right away. They may lead to damage or infection if your bile ducts are blocked for a long time.
Treatment plans for patients will be determined by their care team based on age, medical history, type of gallstones and personal preferences. Gallstones treatment options may include:
- Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)
- Clinical trials (when appropriate)