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If you are unable or unwilling to go through surgery for a gallstone problem that requires treatment, your doctor may recommend one of several noninvasive techniques.Note that though these methods may destroy symptom-causing gallstones, they can do nothing to prevent others from forming, and recurrence is common.When the gallbladder has been removed, bile flows directly from the liver into the small intestine, and this sometimes leads to diarrhea.Because bile no longer accumulates in the gallbladder, quantities of the digestive fluid cannot be stored up and used to break down an especially fatty meal.Bile salt is administered afterward to dissolve small pieces. Doctors can also attempt to remove gallstones during an ERCP.During the procedure an instrument is inserted through the endoscope to attempt removal of the stone.A more complicated test may be used if the doctor suspects that a gallstone is lodged in a bile duct.
If your surgery has been delayed, you should remain under a doctor's care and report any recurrences of gallstone symptoms immediately.
Because some stones are calcified, this treatment often doesn't work.
Another nonsurgical technique, shock wave therapy, uses high-frequency sound waves to fragment the stones.
Stone removal can be done during this procedure as well. In most cases, treatment of gallstones is considered necessary only if you are having symptoms.
Of the various conventional treatments that are available, surgical removal of the gallbladder is the most widely used.