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Am J Surg. 2004 Aug;188(2):186-90.

Polypoid lesions of the gallbladder.

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Department of Surgery, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China.



Polypoid lesions of the gallbladder encompass a wide variety of pathology. Although most of these lesions are benign, some early carcinomas of the gallbladder do present as polypoid lesions. Problems remain in selecting patients with polypoid lesions of the gallbladder for surgery, the operative approach, and the method of follow-up of those deemed not needing surgery.


This review was done by Medline search of the English literature by the keywords "polypoid lesions of gallbladder," "gallbladder polyps," "carcinoma of gallbladder," and "benign tumors of gallbladder."


Most small polypoid lesions of the gallbladder are benign and remain static for years. Three- to six-monthly ultrasonography examination is warranted in the initial follow-up period but it is probably unnecessary after 1 or 2 years. Age more than 50 years and size of polyp more than 1 cm are the two most important factors predicting malignancy in polypoid lesions of the gallbladder. Other risk factors include concurrent gallstones, solitary polyp, and symptomatic polyp. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the treatment of choice unless the suspicion of malignancy is high, in which case it is advisable to have open exploration, intraoperative frozen section, and preparation for extended resection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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