Clinicians can safely apply conservative management to bariatric surgery patients with asymptomatic gallbladder disease, according to research published in Obesity Surgery.

In a prospective study, Omar Pineda, The Obesity Clinic, Hospital General Tláhuac, Mexico City, and colleagues, analyzed data from 146 patients who had bariatric surgery between 2012 and 2014. Each patient underwent an ultrasound before surgery and at 12-month follow-up to assess their gallbladder status.

Preoperative gallbladder disease was found in 34.3% of patients; 20.1% presented with asymptomatic gallstones. At 12 months, de novo gallbladder disease was observed in 21.2%. The overall rate of cholecystectomy due to symptomatic disease at 12 months was 3.4%.

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“Conservative management of asymptomatic gallbladder disease in candidates to bariatric surgery is safe and can be offered in every case, based on the low percentage of patients requiring cholecystectomy after 12 months,” concluded Dr Pineda. “Also, conservative management can be offered to patients developing de novo sludge/cholelithiasis without related symptoms.”


  1. Pineda O, Maydon HG, Amado M, et al. A prospective study of the conservative management of asymptomatic preoperative and postoperative gallbladder disease in bariatric surgery. Obes Surg. 2016; Epub ahead of print.