Is someone Likely to Get Gallstones After Gastric Bypass?

After some conversations wth post-op bypass patients and a lot of them have mentioned getting gallstones after surgery. What are the chances of this happening,  and is there anything one can do to reduce their risk? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 2

Gallstones after gastric bypass

The older theories were that this is a very high correlation of gallstones with gastric bypass surgery.  We perform preoperative gallbladder ultrasounds on all of our patients.  If we find gallstones we take out the gallbladder at the time of the gastric bypass surgery.  If there are no gallstones we leave the gallbladder alone.  I have been performing gastric bypass surgery for over 12 years and have performed more than 2500 gastric bypass procedures and have only had to take out about 10 gallbladders during this time.  It is not necessary to be on any medications to prevent gallstones after bariatric surgery and the incident of gallbladder problems is much lower than has been reported after gastric bypass surgery.

Long Island Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Gallstones after Gastric Bypass

Rapid weight loss is associated with gallstones due to the fact that there is chemical change in the composition of bile. According to one study there is a 71% chance of getting gallstones after rapid weight loss. In my bariatric practice, I place my patients on a medication called ursodiol which dissolves gallstones. This medication decreases the risk of getting gallstones but does not eliminate the risk.

David Buchin, MD
Long Island Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.