Incidental Gallstones


Jeffrey K Wang, MD; Shannon M Foster, MD; Bruce G Wolff, MD, FACS

Spring 2009 - Volume 13 Number 2


Gallstones develop in approximately 10% to 15% of the US population and represent one of the most common and most costly of all digestive diseases. Studies investigating gallstones’ natural history have shown that gallstone-related complications arise at a rate of approximately 1% per year in asymptomatic patients and 2% per year in patients who already have symptoms. Patients can have any of multiple presentations with gallstone-related problems along a continuum of health threats from intermittent biliary colic to septic shock from ascending infections. In most clinical situations in which the patient’s gallstone symptoms are either recurrent or have caused complications, cholecystectomy remains the procedure of choice. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, first performed in the mid-1980s, has quickly become the gold standard in the US. For clinicians who perform abdominal procedures, the literature is consistent in advocating cholecystectomy for gallstones found incidentally during other abdominal procedures.


Reprint Permissions

The Permanente Journal welcomes requests for reprints and reproduction. Use of any and all published materials is copyrighted and protected.


Journal subscriptions for The Permanente Journal are entered for the calendar year. Advance payment in US dollars is required.


27,000 print readers per quarter, 15,350 eTOC readers, and in 2018, 2 million page views of TPJ articles in PubMed from a broad international readership.


Indexed in MEDLINE, PubMed Central, HINARI, EMBASE, EBSCO Academic Search Complete, rdrb, CrossRef, and SciVerse/Scopus.




ISSN 1552-5767 Copyright © 2019

All Rights Reserved.