. Br J Surg 1990;77(4):368-72.
Gibney, "Asymptomatic gallstones
," The British Journal of Surgery, vol.
Dogs can have asymptomatic gallstones
with no apparent signs on routine lab tests.
A cat can have asymptomatic gallstones
with no abnormalities on routine lab tests.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has doubled the number of cholecystectomies being performed in most countries where it is widely practised,  yet the benign natural history of asymptomatic gallstones
are reported in 26.5% in gastric banding patients , though only 6.8% of patients become symptomatic postoperatively .
are present in 10-15% of the adult European population and each year approximately 2% of these will develop symptoms.
The main indication for cholecystectomy remains biliary colic and as a general rule asymptomatic gallstones
do not warrant removal of the gallbladder.
A MANY people have asymptomatic gallstones
- they do not cause any problem or pain and treatment is not needed.
Controversy exists regarding the development of symptoms in patients with asymptomatic gallstones
, ranging from a reported incidence of symptom development of 10% to 30% during a follow-up period of 2 to 15 years.
Diagnostic ultrasound is highly sensitive and specific in detecting gallstones.(3) Previous studies have indicated that diagnostic ultrasound is capable of detecting asymptomatic gallstones
and other gallbladder abnormalities in 2.5% to 4.2% of the general population and in up to 11.3% of pregnant patients during an obstetric ultrasound scan.(2)(4)(5) Although asymptomatic gallstones
require no immediate therapy, 50% of patients with gallstones eventually become symptomatic.(1)
Thus, in 20 years, the majority of patients who have asymptomatic gallstones
will develop symptoms.