Alternatives toGallbladder removal

There are alternatives to gallbladder removal in some circumstances

  • Watchful waiting. If your gallstones are painless, or this is your first attack, you may be able to manage them with lifestyle changes. Increasing exercise and reducing your intake of “fatty” foods can reduce the risk of symptoms recurring. Although symptoms often recur once they develop, approximately 33%–50% of people only ever have one attack of gallstone pain, so your doctor may recommend a wait-and-see approach.
  • Delaying surgery until your gallbladder settles down. If you’ve recently had an attack of pain due to gallstones, and your doctor has recommended surgery, antibiotics and dietary changes may be recommended until the attack and associated inflammation have passed. This is because gallbladder removal is simpler and safer when your gallbladder isn’t inflamed.

Types of gallbladder removal surgery

You may be offered keyhole or open surgery.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.