Question

Digestive Health

Can gallstones return after surgery to remove the gallbladder?

A Answers (2)

  • Yes, gallstones can return even after surgery to remove the gallbladder. Before removal, gallstones could have escaped out of the gallbladder into the tube or duct that carries bile from the gallbladder. These retained stones can cause problems even after the gallbladder is removed. New stones can also form in this duct after the gallbladder is removed.
  • ATodd Mangione, DO, General Surgery, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    After surgery to remove the gallbladder, gallstones can no longer form inside the gallbladder because it is no longer there. However, in some rare instances, gallstones may still form in other structures in the biliary tract, such as the common bile duct. Also, in the process of removing the gallbladder, it's possible -- although unlikely -- for a gallstone to slip out of the gallbladder into the duct.
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