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Feature Article

Gallbladder polyps. To treat or not to treat?

SARAH Z. WENNMACKER, THOMAS J. HUGH

Figures

© auremar/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only
© auremar/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only

Abstract

Gallbladder polyps do not usually cause symptoms and they are often identified incidentally during ultrasound investigation of the abdomen for other reasons. Most are harmless ‘pseudo’ polyps. Large polyps suggest the possibility of malignancy, indicating the need for additional diagnostic imaging and likely cholecystectomy.

Key Points

  • Small gallbladder polyps do not cause symptoms.
  • Biliary symptoms may occur, but these are caused by gallstones, microcalculi or a functional gallbladder disorder rather than the polyps.
  • Most gallbladder polyps are not true adenomatous polyps and therefore there is no malignant risk.
  • Indications for laparoscopic cholecystectomy include gallbladder polyps of 10 mm or larger in size, or when there is an increase in the size or number of polyps during surveillance.

Figures

© auremar/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only
© auremar/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only