Gallbladder polyps are abnormal growths or lesions that protrude from the inner surface of the gallbladder. These polyps can vary in size and may be either benign or cancerous. 


While the exact cause of gallbladder polyps is not always clear, they can be associated with conditions such as gallstones, chronic gallbladder inflammation, or certain genetic factors.


Generally, gallbladder polyps do not cause noticeable symptoms, and they are often discovered incidentally during imaging tests when looking for gallstones.


The approach to the treatment of gallbladder polyps primarily depends on the size of the polyps and the presence of any concerning features that might suggest malignancy. 

Treatment options may include:


Regular Monitoring

For small, benign polyps that do not exhibit any suspicious features, regular monitoring through periodic ultrasound examinations may be recommended. This approach is particularly common for polyps less than 10mm. For some patients (e.g. Indians, South American peoples or patients with underlying liver disease such as primary sclerosing cholangitis), there is a baseline higher risk of gallbladder cancer and a lower threshold for surgery is recommended.


Surgical Removal

When the polyps are large (typically more than 10 mm) or exhibit characteristics that raise suspicion for malignancy, surgical removal of the gallbladder may be advised. This procedure, known as cholecystectomy, can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic or robotic surgery. If a gallbladder polyp is especially big or has concerning features on imaging, a more extensive operation (necessitating removal of a small portion of liver and local lymph nodes) may be required.


Regular follow-up visits with a healthcare provider are essential for individuals with gallbladder polyps, especially if they need regular monitoring without surgical intervention. This allows for the ongoing assessment of the polyps and the overall health of the gallbladder. 


Additionally, it helps ensure prompt detection of any changes that may require further investigation or treatment. Early detection and appropriate management are crucial in addressing gallbladder polyps and preventing potential complications associated with malignancy.

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