What are the indications for cholecystectomy?
John R. Potts, MDAddress reprint requests to J.R.P., Cleveland Clinic Florida, 3000 West Cypress Creek Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Cholecystectomy is indicated in the presence of gallbladder trauma, gallbladder cancer, acute cholecystitis, and other complications of gallstones. More controversial are the indications for elective cholecystectomy. To properly determine the indications for elective cholecystectomy, the risk of the operation (taking into account the age and comorbid factors of the individual patient) must be weighed against the risk of complications and death without operation (taking into account the symptomatic status of the individual and the functional status of the gallbladder). Cholecystectomy (or some other form of gallstone therapy) is indicated in most patients with symptomatic cholelithiasis—especially those with non-functioning gallbladders. Cholecystectomy is not indicated in most patients with asymptomatic stones.