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The gallbladder is a small organ located in your upper right abdomen, right below your liver. It's a pouch used to hold bile, a yellow-green fluid that aids in digestion. Problems with your gallbladder usually arise from obstructions in its bile duct, such as gallstones.

Gallstones are deposits of digestive fluid composed of cholesterol and other hardened bile-derived compounds. They are common and might or might not show any symptoms. Those who exhibit symptoms typically require gallbladder removal.

The symptoms of gallbladder stones include upper abdominal pain, nausea, sweating, fever, increased heart rate, abdominal swelling and tenderness, yellowing of the skin and eye whites (jaundice), dark-coloured urine and light-coloured poop.

If your gallstones are not causing any difficulties, you do not require treatment for them. However, your healthcare professional will remove them if gallstones cause a blockage in your biliary tract. Once gallstones have caused a blockage, it is much more likely to happen again.  Gallstones are typically treated with surgery to remove the stones. The only way to be sure gallstones won't bother you again is to get surgery. However, there are other options for treatment, such as medicine and other procedures, if surgery is not an option for you or you do not want to have it done.

The following article explores in detail the methods to remove gallbladder stones without surgeries.

Exploring The Treatment Methods To Remove Gallbladder Stones?

For most gallstones causing symptoms or infection, treatment options are straightforward. This includes:
In the absence of symptoms, no treatment is required

  • Medications that aid in the dissolution of stones
  • Percutaneous cholecystostomy tube (PCT), which restricts personal activities like exercising and bathing and necessitates frequent dressing changes
  • Cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal surgery

Is It Possible To Remove Gallbladder Stones Without Surgery?

Can gallbladder stones be removed without surgery? It is one of the main concerns the majority of patients have. The answer is yes; minor gallstones can be removed without surgery.
The following are the non-surgical methods to remove gallbladder stones without surgery:

  • Medications: For gallstones that are causing symptoms, various medications can be taken to dissolve the stones and prevent them from growing in the gallbladder. Patients with small, non-calcified cholesterol stones and a healthy gallbladder are the only ones who benefit from these drugs. Therapy might take at least six to 12 months. There is a chance that the gallstones will come back within five years. Ursodeoxycholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid are two bile acids that are frequently recommended to dissolve small gallstones.
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a nonsurgical alternative for the management of gallstones. You can undergo this therapy as long as your gallbladder is functioning normally and your stones are small.  For extracorporeal shock wave therapy, anesthesia is not required, and the procedure can be done as an outpatient. This procedure uses high-energy sound waves to produce shock waves. The shock waves are strong enough to break and dissolve the gallstones.  Individuals who are not able to have surgery could be suitable candidates for extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).
  • Percutaneous Therapy: Surgery might be dangerous for some high-risk patients. A percutaneous (through the skin) treatment approach may be used in these situations.  During this treatment, your medical professional opens the gallbladder, dilates the tract and removes any gallstones using a device called a cholecystoscopy.  Another percutaneous method is called contact dissolution therapy. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into your gallbladder, and a solvent is injected directly into the gallbladder. The solvent dissolves the cholesterol stones.
  • Endoscopic Gallbladder Stenting: Endoscopic gallbladder stenting is another nonsurgical approach to treat gallstones. It is useful in treating high-risk patients who cannot undergo surgery, usually due to an illness. During this procedure, your healthcare professional will perform an ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas) and insert a stent from the gallbladder to the duodenum. The stent alleviates biliary symptoms and complications.

Is It Possible To Remove Gallbladder Stones Without Surgery Via Natural Methods?

Usually, doctors advise either surgery or medication to cure gallstones. However, a few dietary decisions may help stop gallstones from developing. The natural methods to manage gallstones without surgery include:

  • Gallbladder cleanse: Some people claim that a gallbladder cleanse or flush can help break up the gallstones and empty the gallbladder. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims, however. The body is able to cleanse and flush itself. Still, some people consume olive oil, juice, sunflower oil, and herbs to clean the gallbladder.  People with diabetes or those who have low blood sugar may find this combo harmful. Talk to your doctor before starting any type of cleansing. It may not be safe for all people.
  • Apple juice: Some people use apple juice to treat gallstones. That’s because they believe apple juice can assist you pass the stones by softening them. But, there are no scientific studies that support this claim.  Consuming a lot of fruit juice may be detrimental to your health if you suffer from hypoglycemia, diabetes, stomach ulcers, or any other ailment.
  • Apple cider vinegar: A well-liked dietary supplement, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is frequently used in cleanses. There are no studies to support the use of ACV to treat gallstones, even though it may have favourable effects on blood sugar. There isn't much proof that cleanses are beneficial or necessary.
  • Milk thistle: Silybum marianum, also known as milk thistle, may be used to treat gallbladder and liver problems. Although milk thistle is believed to stimulate both organs, its potential benefits for gallstone treatment have not been thoroughly studied by researchers.  As a supplement, milk thistle is available in pill form. Before using milk thistle, especially if you have diabetes, consult your physician. For those suffering from type 2 diabetes, milk thistle may help reduce blood sugar levels. Another possibility is that you have a milk thistle allergy.
  • Artichoke: It has been discovered that artichokes are good for the gallbladder. It is good for the liver and aids in bile stimulation. The impact of artichokes on the management of gallstones has not been examined in any research.  You can grill, pickle, or steam artichokes. If you can handle it, there is no harm in eating artichokes. You should never take artichokes in pill or supplement form before consulting your physician.
  • Yoga: Some people believe that involving in yoga may help for the natural elimination of gallstones. 
  • Castor oil packs: Instead of doing a gallbladder cleansing, some opt to employ another method called castor oil packs. Your belly is covered with warm, castor oil-soaked towels. Pain relief and gallstone treatment are the two main goals of the packs. Claims that this treatment works well are not backed by any scientific research.
  • Acupuncture: By lessening spasms, facilitating bile flow, and regaining normal function, acupuncture may help reduce some of the pain associated with gallstones. There have been reports that gallstones can be treated with acupuncture, but further studies are required.
  • Gold coin grass: Traditional Chinese medicine treats gallstones with gold coin grass or Lysimachiae herba. It has been connected to less gallstone development. Before starting a gallstone cleanse, some people advise consuming gold coin grass to help soften the stones.  Gold coin grass is available as a liquid or powder.


Though surgery is the most effective and frequently used measure against gallbladder stones, there are always some other ways of dealing with the disease in case surgery is impossible or refusal of invasive techniques is preferred. Lifestyle changes, oral dissolution therapy, invasive therapies, and surgical operations provide possible interferences for treating gallstones.

Also, some other remedies are as follows; There are some or no strict diets to avoid gallstones, but certain dietary changes might help to reduce the formation of gallstones or ease the symptoms: Some herbs have been known to help in preventing gallstones or to reduce the symptoms of gallstone. Nevertheless, it is wise to advise your physician whenever a new natural remedy is to be taken to avoid incidents of the remedy exacerbating the condition or causing other health-related complications. However, the selection of the treatment option depends on the symptoms’ nature, the patient’s general health state, or their previous health history.

Visit Eternal Hospital for the best care and cutting-edge treatment choices if you have gallbladder problems. Book your appointment now! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Is it possible to remove gallstones without removing the gallbladder?

A: Gallstones in the bile duct can be removed by a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP). Any stones within the gallbladder will stay there unless additional surgical methods remove them because the gallbladder is not removed during this treatment.

Q: Can gallstones go away without surgery? 

A: If your gallstones are small and you are unable to have surgery, you may be able to dissolve your cholesterol stones by taking ursodiol (Actigall, Urso), a naturally occurring bile acid, two to four times a day. Consult your doctor before taking any medications. 

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