What is the role of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the treatment of asymptomatic (silent) gallstones?

Updated: Apr 16, 2020
  • Author: Danny A Sherwinter, MD; Chief Editor: Kurt E Roberts, MD  more...
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Answer

Cholecystectomy is not indicated in most patients with asymptomatic (silent) gallstones, because only 2-3% of these patients go on to become symptomatic each year. For an accurate determination of the indications for elective cholecystectomy, the risk posed by the operation (with individual patient age comorbid factors taken into account) must be weighed against the risk of complications and death if the operation is not done. [8]

The widespread use of diagnostic abdominal ultrasonography has led to the increasing detection of clinically unsuspected gallstones. This development, in turn, has given rise to a great deal of controversy regarding the optimal management of asymptomatic gallstones. [9]


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