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Gallstone Disease

Gallstone disease is the most common disorder affecting the biliary system, the body’s system of transporting bile. Gallstones are solid, pebble-like masses that form in the gallbladder or the biliary tract (the ducts leading from the liver to the small intestine). They form when the bile hardens and are caused by an excess of cholesterol, bile salts or bilirubin.

Gallstone Disease: What You Need to Know

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  • Gallstone disease occurs when small, hard masses form in your gallbladder.
  • Gallstones may cause biliary colic, a sudden pain that lasts anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
  • There are several different treatment options for gallstone disease, including medication, surgery and shock wave therapy. The course of treatment depends on the symptoms and the type of gallstones.

Patient Resources

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for gallstone disease?

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Our Physicians

Because our physicians are specialists, they can offer the most innovative and effective treatments for gallstone disease.

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Our Patient Education

A study being conducted at Hopkins is looking at how to treat patient pain after gallbladder removal.

Listen to the podcast.