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Gallbladder surgery is done to treat gallbladder disease. Gallbladder disease is commonly caused by the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis). Gallstones can affect different locations.
- Obstruction of the cystic duct leading to severe abdominal pain (biliary colic).
- Infection or inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis).
- Blockage of the biliary ducts leading to the duodenum (biliary obstruction).
In each case, the gallbladder is often removed (cholecystectomy).
Review Date 9/9/2017
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.