May 5, 2017 – Gall Bladder Removal


Anchor lead: Who really needs to have their gall bladder removed? Elizabeth Tracey reports

When people have gallstones they may cause blockages that result in a very painful and sometimes dangerous condition known as pancreatitis. Guidelines for managing this call for removing the gallbladder in an operation known as a cholecystectomy. Now research by Susan Huffless and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has followed a large group of people with this condition and turned up a surprising result.

Hufless: When we then looked at the people who didn’t undergo a cholecystectomy they ended up going to the hospital more, but the majority of them never required a cholecystectomy. So now that we have personalized medicine that could help us identify who should be receiving care when, there may be an opportunity to say this person should be receiving a cholecystectomy now, perhaps this person we’ll wait and see what happens, and maybe they’ll undergo a cholecystectomy later and maybe they won’t.   :30

Hufless notes that the majority of patients in this study were treated according to the guidelines and had their gallbladder removed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.