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Care and Treatment for Gallstones

Why Choose Treatment for Gallstones at University of Colorado Hospital?

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University of Colorado Hospital is ranked among the nation’s top programs for treating digestive disorders, including Gallstones.

We offer patients access to the latest diagnostic breakthroughs and treatment options. We provide the largest range of specialty treatments in the Rocky Mountain region and are deeply involved in clinical research and product development, which keeps us at the cutting edge of endoscopic technology.

What are Gallstones?

Gallstones affect as many as one in 12 Americans. These stones, often made up of crystallized cholesterol, can develop in either the gallbladder or the bile duct.

Often they cause no symptoms and require no treatment. In fact, you may not even know you have them.

In some cases, however, complications from gallstones can be serious. In rare cases, gallstones that are left untreated can be fatal.

Fortunately, treatment is usually very straightforward. Doctors often discover these "silent stones" during routine medical checkups or exams for other illnesses.

Tests and Treatments for Gallstones

If your gallstones cause symptoms, several possible treatments are available.


Doctors may recommend removing your gallbladder. This surgery is most often performed using a laparoscope, a pencil-thin tube with its own lighting system and miniature video camera.


If you have stones in the bile duct, your doctor may suggest removing the stones using an endoscope. This is a small, flexible tube with a light and lens on the end, used to look into gastrointestinal organs.


A cutting instrument is inserted through the endoscope, and the entrance of the bile duct is enlarged so the stone can pass through it.


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