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A 23-year-old member asked:

how can you get rid of gallstones?

7 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Chris Oh
Dr. Chris Ohanswered
Internal Medicine 21 years experience
Surgery: Gallstones are common. If they cause pain especially after you eat, surgeons will remove the gallbladder.
Dr. Richard Orr
Surgical Oncology 44 years experience
Surgery: In the past various medicines were used to try to dissolve gallstones. Although they worked, to some extent, they were expensive, potentially dangerous, and required a long-term treatment. Lithotripsy (high intensity ultrasound) could "blast" the stones, but has also been abandoned. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the recommended treatment for symptomatic gallstones, at present.
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Remove the factory: The standard treatment for gallstone removal is to remove where they are formed: the gallbladder. Other means may be used to dissolve gallstones, such as pills, lithotripsy, or even "gallbladder flushes": these all fail to permanently solve the problem, and, in the case of the "flush", may be dangerous if stones get stuck in the bile duct. Thankfully, surgery is usually out-pt, safe, and easy.
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen commented
General Surgery 34 years experience
Provided original answer
Last but not least, the presence of gallstones in the absence of symptoms DOES NOT warrant gallbladder removal since up to 75% of patients with stones will never develop problems.
Jan 22, 2012
Dr. Vasu Brown
Integrative Medicine 34 years experience
Superphosphozyme: Liquid super phosphozyme with liquid iodine 30 drops three times a day for 2 - 3 weeks then recheck with ultrasound. If no improvement need medical evaluation or surgical evaluation.
Dr. George T Tsai
General Surgery 27 years experience
Surgery: For most gallstones, surgery is the only solution. Since the early 1990's, gallbladder removal has become the standard of care for symptomatic gallstones. It is a very common and low risk outpatient procedure for which most people resume all activity within 1-2 weeks.
Dr. F. Enrique Alvarez
General Surgery 49 years experience
Surgery: Symptomatic gallstones can only be treated surgically by removing the gallbladder, litothrypsy and actigall (ursodiol) were used for sometime but the indications were very specifical single stoneno larger than 1 CM and lots of diarrhea for about one year from the actigall (ursodiol) and then three or four years later the gallstones will come back.
Dr. Leon Katz
Bariatrics 29 years experience
Possible med: I agree with all the doctors here that removal of the gallbladder is the definitive treatment for symptomatic gallstones. If a person is about to lose a lot of weight such as with bariatric surgery, some recommend a medicine called ursodiol. This is taken for about 6 months. If you are considering this option please discuss with your surgeon or GI doctor. Good luck.

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