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Gallstones are relatively common in overweight, middle-aged women. Small gallstones may pass unnoticed through the duct and into the intestine. Large stones can become lodged in the neck of the gallbladder. This causes cramps and pain. The site where the stone is stuck may become inflamed or infected.

Treatment for gallstones is to remove the gallbladder. A common procedure for this operation uses a laparoscope and laser. A small incision is made in the abdomen. The laparoscope, which is a flexible tube, is inserted through the incision into the abdominal cavity. The gallbladder is viewed and then removed by a laser. Removing the gallbladder by laser reduces trauma to the abdominal wall. Patients usually go home the day after surgery and return to work in a few days.

Not all patients are candidates for this procedure. Those with large stones or scar tissue around the gallbladder may require open surgery. The laparoscopic procedure can be switched to an open surgical procedure if a problem results.

For more information, contact your healthcare provider.


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